Netflix’s controversial teen drama 13 Reasons Why debuted last year to equal parts applause and backlash. If you haven’t seen the Selena Gomez-produced show yet, it’s a heartwrenching series following Hannah Baker (Katherine Langford) who commits suicide and leaves behind a series of tapes exposing those who wronged her.
While some critics loved the rawness in how the LGBT inclusive series handled tough conversations like bullying, sexual assault, and suicide, many people – including medical professionals and suicide prevention groups – thought the show was “glamorizing suicide,” insensitive, possibly triggering, and potentially harmful for vulnerable young people struggling with those realities.
Netflix is out to correct their mistakes. The 13 Reasons Why cast recorded a trigger warning introduction video that will play ahead of each season premiere episode.
Dylan Minnette (Clay), Katherine Langford (Hannah), Justin Prentice (Bryce), and Alisha Boe (Jessica) warn the audience of some of the sensitive topics the show will tackle and where viewers at home can go for help.
“By shedding a light on these difficult topics, we hope our show can help viewers start a conversation,” says Langford.
“But if you are struggling with these issues yourself,” Boe adds, “this series may not be right for you or you may want to watch it with a trusted adult.”
They ask struggling viewers to reach out to a parent, friend, school counselor, an adult they trust, or visit their new site 13reasonswhy.info – where they’ve included a crisis helpline – to get help.
“The minute you start talking about it, it gets easier,” says Boe.
The series is based on Jay Asher’s book of the same title, but the arc of that story ends at the Season 1 finale. So what should we expect from season 2?
“Hannah told her version of events,” says showrunner Brian Yorkey, “but there are at least 12 kids who have another version of those events that we actually haven’t really heard from yet. So I think there’s quite a bit more of Hannah’s story to tell.”
Watch the video below: