Netflix is making changes to 13 Reasons Why. The drama based on the book of the same name by Jay Asher, which also counts Selena Gomez as an executive producer, has received some flack around the world for its portrayal of suicide.
New Zealand created a special rating just for the 13-episode series. Now, Netflix is taking further steps to assuage concern over the graphic content depicted with a new warning before the episodes as well as a special warning before the first episode.
"There has been a tremendous amount of discussion about our series 13 Reasons Why. While many of our members find the show to be a valuable driver for starting important conversation with their families, we have also heard concern from those who feel the series should carry additional advisories," Netflix said in a statement to E! News. "Currently the episodes that carry graphic content are identified as such and the series overall carries a TV-MA rating. Moving forward, we will add an additional viewer warning card before the first episode as an extra precaution for those about to start the series and have also strengthened the messaging and resource language in the existing cards for episodes that contain graphic subject matter, including the URL 13ReasonsWhy.info—a global resource center that provides information about professional organizations that support help around the serious matters addressed in the show."
BuzzFeed first reported the warning change.
Netflix also created an after-show, Beyond the Reasons, and, as mentioned above, has a resource center.
Ross Butler, Zach Dempsey on the series, responded to the criticism during a recent interview with E! News and said "the way we approached it is exactly the way it needed to be told."
During a visit to The Ellen DeGeneres Show, Dylan Minnette, Clay Jensen on the show, said the chatter about the graphic visuals in the series should be considered a success because now viewers are talking.
"The main goal, overall, is to start conversations that we think are necessary to be had and to bring these issues to light and to show them in a real way," Minnette said. "If people are talking about it, we've reached our goal because these conversations—people need to talk about this."
Rumors of 13 Reasons Why season two have been circulating for weeks. Netflix has not officially announced the renewal.
"We don't know yet. We really don't," Minnette told Ellen DeGeneres. "I feel like the world's going to know before we do if it happens. I'll be online and be like, 'Oh, there's a second season.'"