The Parents Television Council is calling on Netflix to delay the release of the second season of its controversial hit program "13 Reasons Why" pending more research into the potential harm it has on minors.
Released in 2017 and based off of a best-selling novel, "13 Reasons Why" is about a bullied high school girl who commits suicide and then leaves behind a recording explaining the 13 reasons for her suicide.
In a statement released Wednesday, PTC President Tim Winter said that Netflix should delay the second season "until experts in the scientific community have determined it to be safe for consumption by an audience that is comprised heavily of minor children."
"When a film or TV series centers entirely on high school-aged children for its storytelling, it is high school and junior high school children who watch and who feel most emotionally-connected to the characters. Grown-ups don't put themselves into the position of high schoolers; but other children do," stated Winter.
Winter also called on Netflix to "implement a pricing structure similar to Sirius/XM Satellite radio that allows subscribers – and especially parents – to opt out of adult or explicit programming in exchange for a reduction in the subscription price."
A study published in July 2017 in the American Medical Association's JAMA Internal Medicine publication found that there was a spike in Google searches for suicide, both prevention and how to perform it, soon after "13 Reasons Why" premiered.
"The study doesn't prove a link and didn't examine any connection with actual suicides or attempts," noted the Hollywood Reporter last year, which then added that some "mental health advocates say the show glamorized suicide, and many U.S. schools sent parents warning letters about the show."
In response to the concerns of parents and professionals, Netflix added warning cards to the beginning of each episode of season 1, as well as a video for the first episode of season 2 featuring a statement from the cast.
"13 Reasons Why is a fictional series that tackles tough, real-world issues, taking a look at sexual assault, substance abuse, suicide and more. By shedding a light on these difficult topics we hope our show can help viewers start a conversation," stated the cast in the video.
"But if you are struggling with these issues yourself, this series may not be right for you, or you may want to watch it with a trusted adult. If you ever feel you need someone to talk with, reach out to a parent, a friend, a school counselor or an adult you trust. Call a local helpline or go to 13reasonswhy.info because the minute that you start talking about it, it gets easier."