The parents of a young teenager who took her own life say a Netflix show aimed at teens is to blame for the little girl who is gone forever.
"I'm about to tell you the story of my life – more specifically why my life ended," TV character Hannah Baker explains in "13 Reasons Why."
The hit TV show, based on the Jay Asher's young adult novel by the same name, begins its second season today. But one teenager who won't be watching is Anna Bright, who was a 14-year-old artist and cheerleader in Alabama. She took her life on April 18, 2017, in a similar manner depicted by the Hannah Baker character.
A little over a year after Anna's death, her mother Patrice tells OneNewsNow there's no doubt in her mind that the show played a part.
"Much like the main character Hannah Baker," the mother recalls, "Anna came home and put things in order. She changed into comfortable clothes. She went into our bathroom. She ran a bathtub full of water and rather than slitting her wrists, like the main character, she went under the water and actually shot herself."
"13 Reasons" tells the fictional story of a troubled teenager who endures vicious school rumors, lying and scheming classmates, and finally a brutal rape. In a final act of revenge, the teen leaves 13 cassette tapes to the people whom she blames for her life-ending decision.
In an effort to spread the word about Anna's tragic suicide and "13 Reasons," a Bright family member contacted the American Family Association earlier this year pleading with the family-focused ministry to help warn the public – and possibly keep another teenager from following in the footsteps of a fictional character and a real-life Alabama teen.
AFA sent an "Action Alert" to its supporters in April telling the family's story.
No stranger to petitions, AFA also urged the public to sign an online petition asking Netflix to cancel its hit TV series or risk more teen suicides.
American Family Studios, a film-making division of AFA, worked with the Bright family to tell their story (see above) in a six-minute documentary.
Speaking to American Family Radio this week, Patrice Bright said her hope is that Anna's tragic death will help other families before they learn, too late, that their children are struggling with thoughts of suicide – only to be pushed to do it by a popular TV show.
Patrice Bright likened the act of suicide to a person holding a hand grenade: the grenade ends the life of the person holding it, she said, but it permanently injures those close by.
"Our counselor has told us," she tells OneNewsNow, "that every behavior begins with a thought and ends with a consequence."
Editor's Note: American Family Studios and American American Family Radio are divisions of the American Family Association, the parent organization of the American Family News Network, which operates OneNewsNow.com.