Controversy around Thirteen Reasons Why


a listen into the reasons why

By Aamaya Khan, Staff Writer

In light of the renewal of Thirteen Reasons Why for  season two. There are lots of different opinions and controversy around the show.

There will be spoilers for the show, so I wouldn’t suggest reading this if you haven’t finished the show.

Some of  the main concerns about the show such as its romanticizing of suicide, the depiction of mental illnesses, and the actual scene where Hannah kills herself.

Thirteen Reasons Why is about Hannah Baker who after committing suicide leaves behind cassette tapes with the thirteen reasons as to why she killed herself. After leaving behind these tapes, she makes each person who hurt her listen to them or else a second copy of the cassettes would be turned over to the police.

The tapes make every person who listens to them feel guilty and remorseful for their actions. These people are often plagued with wishing they had treated Hannah better or noticed her suicidal feelings. The show makes suicide seem like the revenge against people who don’t notice or have hurt you.

If someone is suicidal, there is little someone else could do to help them except talk to professionals who are trained to deal with such problems. The people who Hannah blamed couldn’t have done anything to stop her even if they wanted to.

Suicide is not something to be taken lightly, especially as a revenge tactic. The people who hurt Hannah are free to live and move on, while Hannah is dead with no hope for a better future.

The depiction of mental illnesses is almost nonexistent in this show, which is very troubling as it is inaccurate. With each tape, Hannah blames her suicide on external factors such as negative people or bad events. The majority of suicides are caused by depression.

Hannah makes it seem that if bad things keep happening to someone the only option is to commit suicide. This is completely untrue and is never addressed in the show. Depression is caused by many things, not just external factors.

The scene where Hannah kills herself is incredibly graphic and painful to watch. The creators of the show have said this was to demonstrate the gravity of  what she is doing and how she is too far gone.

However, such graphic depictions of suicide have been known to trigger “copycat” suicides. The scene was also said to be tutorial-like. If someone was suicidal, they may turn to this show to see how to kill themselves.

These are serious concerns that need to be addressed.  If you feel suicidal, consider calling the Suicide Prevention Hotline , joining a Lifeline Prevention Chat, or opening up to your parents.

Signs of suicidal behavior to look for include

  • Talking about feeling hopeless or having no reason to live
  • Talking about feeling trapped or in unbearable pain
  • Talking about being a burden to others
  • Increasing the use of alcohol or drugs
  • Acting anxious or agitated; behaving recklessly
  • Sleeping too little or too much
  • Withdrawing or feeling isolated
  • Showing rage or talking about seeking revenge
  • Displaying extreme mood swings