Netflix show blamed after high school viewers take their own lives.
Since it gripped nations on Netflix earlier this year, '13 Reasons Why' has been the source of much controversy with regards to its exploration of teen suicide. Now it's been accused of being the reason why two young girls have taken their own lives.
Katherine Langford, Selena Gomez and Dylan Minnette worked on '13 Reasons Why'
Many have regarded the show as a flippant story of child suicide, or more seriously a 'glamorisation'. Is this latest tragic tale proof of that theory? Two 15-year-old girls named Bella Herndon and Priscilla Chiu have allegdly both hanged themselves only days after watching the series, which focuses on the death of 17-year-old Hannah Baker who leaves behind 13 cassette tapes listing the people that have driven her to her fate.
'I didn't find out until the funeral', Bella's father John told ABC News. 'Bella's friends told me that three days before she hung herself she had finished watching this Netflix show '13 Reasons Why'. The more I looked into it, the more appalled I was.'
Indeed, it seems this is one parent who is blaming the death of his daughter on the hard-hitting series, despite the fact that she had been suffering depression after a spate of bullying in middle school. It can be argued that '13 Reasons Why' has merely been a platform to encourage youths to speak out about their problems, and allow a conversation to develop about the reality of teen suicide. This is, of course, Netflix's take on the subject matter.
'Our hearts go out to these families during this difficult time', they said in a statement. 'We have heard from many viewers that '13 Reasons Why' has opened up a dialogue among parents, teens, schools and mental health advocates around the intense themes and difficult topics depicted in the show," the statement reads. 'In our approach, we were mindful the material covered sensitive topics, as the young adult novel did when it was published in 2007'.
A second series of the show is due to air next year.