American Family Association Goes Head to Head with Netflix Over ‘13 Reasons Why’
TUPELO, Miss.—For many months, the American Family Association (AFA, www.afa.net) has been educating parents and families about the tragic story of Anna Bright, the 14-year-old daughter of Joseph and Patrice Bright who committed suicide after binge-watching Netflix’s damaging teen series, “13 Reasons Why.”
AFA has also been committed to urging Netflix to pull the show from the streaming service—before another young life is lost or negatively influenced. AFA has gathered tens of thousands of petition signatures to Netflix CEO Reed Hastings, and is working hard to reach 200,000 signatures so Netflix leadership will take notice. More than 140,000 have already signed the petition.
Now, AFA is calling on concerned families to help spread the word about this series in a different way.
“We know ‘13 Reasons Why’ is a dark and demonic primer for impressionable young people, inviting them to enter a realm of perversion, hatred and violence,” Wildmon said. “I have written a letter to Reed Hastings, urging him to meet with me personally so I can share my concerns and families’ concerns. I know of at least four suicides that have been linked to the storyline of ‘13 Reasons Why.’ We need families to help us warn as many parents as possible by letting them know about ‘13 Reasons Why’ so we’re asking our friends and supporters to take our message and send it to everyone in their address book, especially those who have teenagers in their home.”
Season 1 focused on the graphic suicide of Hannah Baker, who slits her wrists in a bathtub full of water. Her decision to end her life is explained through a collection of cassette tapes that she leaves behind blaming the people responsible for her death. Season 2 picks up months after Hannah’s suicide, and sadly, the filth and gratuitous content is only exacerbated with story lines that include sodomy, homosexuality, drug use, extreme profanity and a plot for mass school violence.
Wildmon noted that just two days before Anna’s sad death, another young girl had already done the unthinkable—copied what she had seen in the Netflix series and took her own life. He said he was devastated when he received a second heartbreaking letter from a grieving mother whose daughter became a victim after being influenced by this show.
Besides the grave suicide implications, a Fox News affiliate in Washington, D.C., reported last week that a sexual assault incident at a Maryland high school bore similarities to a violent rape scene from “13 Reasons Why.” Five students at that Maryland school were charged with rape or attempted rape as of Nov. 1.
AFA suggests the following message that those concerned about this Netflix show can send to their contacts:
“I wanted to let you know about a petition that I signed to Netflix CEO Reed Hastings. Through the American Family Association (AFA), I learned of a show called ‘13 Reasons Why’ that is airing on Netflix right now. ‘13 Reasons Why’ is extremely dangerous and has become a lightning rod for critics who say it glorifies suicide and may even make it an attractive option for teenagers who are enduring difficult times in their lives.
“I’m warning my family and friends about ‘13 Reasons Why’ and am asking you to learn more at www.afa.net/netflix. I hope you will take time to read about 14-year-old Anna Bright, who is just one of many who committed suicide after binge-watching ‘13 Reasons Why.’ Then, join me in signing the petition to Netflix, urging them to pull ‘13 Reasons Why’ before another teen decides to end their life through suicide.”
Despite pleas from pro-family groups like AFA to cancel the second season of “13 Reasons Why” this past spring, Netflix instead announced it had renewed the show and would film Season 3 at the same California high school.
American Family Association representatives are available to conduct immediate breaking news interviews via its LTN line at AFA studio headquarters. Contact Media@HamiltonStratetgies.com for more information or call 610.584.1096, ext. 102.
To interview a representative from the American Family Association, contact Deborah Hamilton, Media@HamiltonStrategies.com, 610.584.1096, ext. 102, or Jeff Tolson, ext. 108.