PTC Says Netflix's “13 Reasons Why” Premiere Cancelation “A Despicably Shallow Act”
The Parents Television Council responded to the news that Netflix canceled its "13 Reasons Why" Season 2 premiere in Los Angeles, Calif., tonight due to the Santa Fe High School shooting in Houston, Texas, today.
All episodes of Season 2, which has been reported to deal with sexual assault and gun violence, were released on Netflix today and are currently available for children to watch. Also available to watch, Season 1 culminated with a graphic suicide scene of a high school-aged female character - a scene that showed in gory detail what it was like when the teenager slit her wrists.
"While it's right that Netflix canceled its premiere, it is a despicably shallow act to cancel the premiere but to allow the new season to be released. If celebrating the new season of this show is not appropriate today, then it's never appropriate. Releasing the show is equally inappropriate," said PTC President Tim Winter.
"If Netflix wants to truly show respect, the company would cancel Season 2 altogether, and make sure Season 1 is removed from the platform.
"The company knows full well the impact that this program has had on young viewers. It cannot hide behind favorable academic research when it knows full well of the academic research showing disastrous harm.
"Netflix's entire business structure must become safer for children and give parents more control over content. Netflix bears ultimate responsibility for the impact of its potentially harmful content."
The PTC has raised concerns about Netflix's "13 Reasons Why" because the company is marketing graphic adult content to children. Following the Season 1 release, the Google search term for how to commit suicide spiked 26 percent, and there were news reports of children literally taking their own lives.
The Parents Television Council (www.parentstv.org) is a non-partisan education organization advocating responsible entertainment. It was founded in 1995 to ensure that children are not constantly assaulted by sex, violence and profanity on television and in other media. This national grassroots organization has more than 1.4 million members, and works with television producers, broadcasters, networks and sponsors in an effort to stem the flow of harmful and negative messages targeted to children. The PTC also works with elected and appointed government officials to enforce broadcast decency standards. Most importantly, the PTC produces critical research and publications documenting the dramatic increase in sex, violence and profanity in entertainment. This information is provided free of charge so parents can make informed viewing choices for their own families. Visit the new PTC Watchdog Blog at http://www.parentstv.org/blog/. Follow the PTC on Twitter: @ThePTC.