Netflix urged to axe 13 Reasons Why by parents group

Photo credit: Netflix
Photo credit: Netflix

From Digital Spy

Warning: The following article contains a discussion of sexual assault and suicide that some readers may find distressing.

The following article contains spoilers for both the first first and second seasons of Netflix's 13 Reasons Why.

A parents advocacy group in the US is urging Netflix to cancel 13 Reasons Why over its depiction of sexual assault in the second season, which debuted last week.

The adaptation of Jay Asher's Young Adult novel ventures off into a largely original story in its second season, after focusing on the tragic suicide of teenager Hannah Baker (Katherine Langford) last year.

13 Reasons Why has continued to cause controversy in its second season with a climactic scene involving school violence, but it's the show's approach to depicting rape that has angered the Parents Television Council.

The conservative-leaning US group frequently targets shows like The Walking Dead and Scandal for airing extreme violence, and tried to have 13 Reasons Why's second season blocked from release by Netflix until it could be reviewed by its 'experts'.

The latter campaign failed, but now the PTC is calling for Netflix to remove 13 Reasons Why from its streaming service and drop any plans for a third season, calling it a "a ticking time bomb to teens and children".

"We're issuing a warning about Netflix's 13 Reasons Why season two and urging the company to pull the series entirely because of the potentially harmful content," the group said.

In particular, the PTC objects to a scene in which a young boy is gang-raped by a group of jocks, and another in which another plots to carry out a school shooting.

Photo credit: Netflix
Photo credit: Netflix

Regarding the school shooting scene, showrunner Brian Yorkey has defended its inclusion in the show as being all too realistic to many people's real-life experiences.

"We did as much research as we could," he said. "As with all things with the show, our hope was that we could honestly represent the experience – that our viewers might, through the experience, learn more and start more conversations about those issues in their own world."

The second season of 13 Reasons Why begins with a disclaimer, cautioning that the subject matter might not make the show appropriate for all viewers.

Digital Spy has reached out to Netflix for a response to the PTC's complaint.

13 Reasons Why season two is available now to watch on Netflix.

Readers affected by the issues raised in this story are encouraged to contact Samaritans free on 116 123 ( or visit, which provides crisis information and resources about topics covered in the series.

We would encourage anyone who identifies with the topics raised in this article to reach out. Organisations who can offer support include Samaritans on 116 123 (, and Mind on 0300 123 3393 ( Readers in the US are encouraged to contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline on 1-800-273-8255 or visit the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.

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