Is “13 Reasons Why” glorifying suicide?

Hannah Baker, played by Catherine Langford, is the main character of

Hannah Baker, played by Catherine Langford, is the main character of "13 Reasons Why" and is the main focus of season 1

Sierra O'Tool (cc), Journalist

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.


Email This Story






   13 Reasons Why is one of Netflix’s most popular shows, with more people discovering the show every day. The show includes the graphic portrayal of suicide, depression, sex, rape, alcohol, drugs, and bullying. It now has 3 seasons (36 episodes) and is renewed for its fourth and final season in 2020 according to popbuzz.com.

The show sucked the souls of the public and placed our feet in the shoes of Hannah Baker, leading us through her story

   Mental health issues like suicide shouldn’t be portrayed graphically because it could bring back past suicide trauma for its viewers. The show also conveys the immaturity and bad behavior of our generation, from drug and alcohol usage to raping someone. The show is intended to portray education on suicide and how to prevent it. 

   Over the years, suicide has become a growing concern for parents all around the U.S. Suicide is the tenth biggest killer in the U.S.; moreover, suicide is the leading cause of death for people ages 10 to 34 according to nbcnews.com. 90% of suicide victims all had some type of mental health issues like depression and suicidal thoughts that led them to suicide. 

   Mental health experts have also expressed their growing concerns of what the show is portraying to its viewers. Negative reviews and experts opinions have actually caught Netflix’s attention and it has taken some precautions, like having a warning expressed before each episode.

   Netflix does have a documentary 13 Reasons Why: beyond the reasons, which discusses the issues acted out in the show. Though the documentary is a type of warning to viewers, that doesn’t excuse the fact that the show also missed opportunities to educate viewers of common risk factors of suicide, such as prior suicide attempts an substance abuse. The show also failed to encourage people with depression and suicidal thoughts to seek help. 

   “I would not allow my child to watch the show,” said Emily Nielsen, an English teacher at PVHS. “Suicide rates are quite high in teens and young adults and I wouldn’t want my child to see suicide in such an uncensored way.” 

   13 Reasons Why is rated PG-13 for “sexual content, partying, language, and a fight,” though the show conveys much more than just partying and a “fight.” Many people believe that the show should be rated a hardcore R or NC-17 for those matters and much, much more.

Image result for 13 reasons why

 “The show misrepresents mental health issues more than anything,” said Senior Alexus Donnelly. 

     13 Reasons Why is a very interesting and binge-worthy show, though it has many rough scenes that Netflix needs to fix. Did the show successfully educate viewers on these subjects or did the show just glorify the subjects and fail to pursue its initial purpose?