A prominent pro-family group is calling on Netflix to pull Season 1 of "13 Reasons Why" and to cancel the planned second season.
In "13 Reasons Why," a female character takes her own life and leaves behind 13 recordings for the people she believed was responsible. Recently, a grandmother in Alabama contacted the American Family Association (AFA) to say that her 14-year-old granddaughter, Anna Bright, committed suicide almost a year ago after watching the show.
"Her father thought she was murdered, and it was actually the police detective who worked the scene that came out and told the family that Anna had done this to herself and that she mimicked the show '13 Reasons Why,'" explained Rebecca Davis of AFA Journal Monday on American Family Radio.
After being contacted by the grandmother, Davis watched the first season of the Netflix series.
Netflix describes Season 1 as follows: "After a teenage girl's perplexing suicide, a classmate receives a series of tapes that unravel the mystery of her tragic choice." It is based on a novel by Jay Asher published in 2008.
"They just show a very graphic portrayal of suicide and rape," warned Davis. "It's also full of profane language, gratuitous language, excessive drug and alcohol use by high school students, and bullying."
Netflix rates the show TV-MA (for Mature Audiences only), but American Family Association says it's being targeted to young people – and that potential dangers of "13 Reasons Why" are very real. AFA president Tim Wildmon shared on American Family Radio that his organization has launched an online petition demanding that Netflix yank Season 1 of the series and cancel its plans for Season 2.
"Go to AFA.net and sign that petition," he said. "You can then forward that on to your friends and family so that we can help make a difference."
Included with the petition is a brief video of Anna's parents sharing their story and concerns related to "13 Reasons Why."
"They had no idea that she was struggling the way that was," said Davis. "They contacted Netflix themselves after they found what had gone on. They asked for the Netflix records and just called to share with them what happened to Anna."
Those records showed that Anna – without her parents' knowledge or permission – had binge-watched the first season just two weeks prior to her death.
Wildmon also reached out in a letter to Reed Hastings, CEO of Netflix, requesting a meeting to discuss AFA's and the Brights' concerns. The letter, says AFA, "was ignored."
Editor's Note: The American Family Association is the parent organization of the American Family News Network, which operates OneNewsNow.com.
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