AceShowbiz - Netflix has responded after a new study once again links "13 Reasons Why" to a spike in teen suicide. After Netflix CEO Reed Hastings reacted indifferently when the accusation first emerged after the first season was released, the streaming service has now taken into the matter more seriously.
A Netflix spokesperson said in a statement released on Tuesday, April 30, "We've just seen this study and are looking into the research, which conflicts with last week's study from the University of Pennsylvania. This is a critically important topic and we have worked hard to ensure that we handle this sensitive issue responsibly."
The study that the spokesperson referred to was published in the journal Social Science and Medicine earlier this month. The study found that of the adults aged 18 to 29 surveyed, those who watched the show's second season had beneficial effects, but those who didn't finish the season had a higher risk of suicide.
Meanwhile, the latest research was published in the Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. It stated that in the nine months following the release of the first season, there were 195 more suicides among U.S. youth ages 10 to 17 than were expected based on historical data.
The study noted that in April 2017 alone, the month after the show's debut, 190 U.S. tweens and teens took their own lives, which is nearly 30 percent higher than in the preceding five years included in the study. Lead author Jeff Bridge, a suicide researcher at Nationwide Children's Hospital in Columbus, Ohio, added that the April rate was higher than in the previous 19 years.
Bridge argued, "The creators of the series intentionally portrayed the suicide of the main character. It was a very graphic depiction of the suicide death," which can trigger suicidal behavior.
However, the study acknowledged that they couldn't confirm if all teens who committed suicide during that particular period had watched "13 Reasons Why". The researchers also noted that there might be other unknown factors or events occurring around the same time of the show's release that could be responsible for these suicides.
In response to the previous study, Netflix has included warning messages with some of the episodes and created a website with crisis hotlines and other resources. The streaming service plans to release the third season later this year.