Editor’s Note: This commentary is condensed. See the unabridged version at
August 2018 – Despite pleas from pro-family groups to cancel the second season of the original Netflix series 13 Reasons Why, it was released May 18. All 13 hours of it. At one time. For the whole world to devour … or be devoured by.
Season 2 is a continuation of the first season that was based on a young adult novel by Jay Asher. Season 1 focused on the graphic suicide of teenager Hannah Baker who slits her wrists in a bathtub full of water. Hanna explains her suicide by leaving behind cassette tapes that blame 13 people responsible for her death.
Season 2 picks up months later, and characters are dealing with the aftermath of Hannah’s suicide. A lawsuit and court case make up the overarching storyline. Sadly, the filth and gratuitous content of Season 1 is only exacerbated in Season 2.
Some praise the series, claiming it brings awareness to relevant issues such as teen suicide, substance abuse, and sexual assault. However, others are calling for it to be removed from Netflix because of its detrimental impact on young people and their families.
Take, for example, the Bright family* from Alabaster, Alabama. Fourteen-year-old Anna Bright committed suicide after binge-watching the first season of 13 Reasons Why. She patterned her suicide after Hannah Baker’s. Bella Herndon and Priscilla Chiu, both 15-year-olds from California, also took their own lives after watching the first season, as did a 23-year-old Peruvian man who left behind recordings similar to those Hannah left behind.
But if the reports of those deaths don’t convince you of the evil that enshrouds this series, and you still want to watch it, here are 13 reasons why I urge you to think twice.
CAUTION: This list contains highly disturbing and graphic descriptions. Do not watch Season 2 of 13 Reasons Why unless you want to:
▶ See male teens sexually assault another male teen by sodomizing him with a mop handle and shoving his head in the toilet.
▶ See multiple sex scenes with graphic depictions of rape, sexual assault, and forced intercourse.
▶ See a male teen rub himself down with lotion and masturbate while live-streaming pornography.
▶ Watch two teen virgins lose their virginity to each other, then repeatedly have sex because it’s fun.
▶ Hear blatant stabs at Christianity when discussing sex: “Isn’t Jesus your true love?” “Maybe it’s time to sin.”
▶ Celebrate homosexuality with kissing scenes and two gay men watching LGBT movies together.
▶ See a gay teen scroll through naked photos of gay men on his phone, then click on one and be solicited for sex.
▶ Watch teen baseball players use steroids, then have their high school coach offer to cover for them during drug screenings.
▶ Watch teens attempt a DIY detox of a heroin addict by using Pepto-Bismol and Immodium.
▶ See teens playing violent video games, then making their own detonator.
▶ Watch teenagers who want to “f- the system,” one of whom attempts a mass school shooting that is thwarted last minute.
▶ See guns used carelessly, often in attempts to threaten others and contemplate suicide.
▶ Listen to hours of gratuitous, profane language.
If you think pandering to the absolutely darkest side of human nature is the best way to create awareness of troubling issues, 13 Reasons Why is for you.
But if you see the danger in this approach and want to help stop it, demand that Netflix pull both Seasons 1 and 2 of 13 Reasons Why. And pray for all those involved with the series.
Use your voice to be part of the solution, not your silence that ignores the problem.
*Rebecca Davis is the AFA Journal staff writer originally contacted by the Bright family.
Soon after 13RW Season 2 began, Netflix announced its plans for Season 3. However, American Family Association is not giving up and is pressing on, stronger now than ever. AFA is partnering with Parents Television Council to urge other pro-family groups to form a coalition and put maximum pressure on Netflix to end this damaging series. (See story here.)
Join the efforts; sign a petition at afa.net/Netflix urging Netflix to pull both Seasons 1 and 2 of 13 Reasons Why.