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Opinion: ’13 Reasons Why’ draws controversy amongst viewers

Abby Eldridge, Staff writer

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Originally a novel by Jay Asher, Netflix has come together with Selena Gomez to make a dramatization of the book.

Airing on March 31, 2017, it has become one of the most talked about series this year. The story is about Hannah Baker, played by Katherine Langford, who leaves behind 13 tapes explaining why she killed herself.

The book is mainly set on Clay Jenson, played by Dylan Minette, who was, as Hannah says, the only one that could have saved her. But, the series is much more detailed. Giving each character more of a backstory, it shows that not only did they hurt Hannah, but Hannah hurt them.

The producers of the show wanted to show what Hannah went through as detailed as possible. Having warnings at the beginning of some episodes which showed rape and suicide, they thought that it would make people think about being nicer to others because they do not know what little thing might push them over the edge. But, many viewers and professionals think that the show may have a negative impact on teenagers.

“Young people are not that great at separating fiction from reality. That get’s even harder to do when you’re struggling with thoughts,” Dan Reidenberg, the executive director of Suicide Awareness Voices of Education, or SAVE, said in a recent interview published on the web.

Teenagers might not be able to handle the visualization of Hannah’s suicide because it could trigger many people who have struggled with mental illness.

It was also never said whether Hannah suffered from a mental illness; she never told her parents or friends. And the only person she does tell, the school counselor, makes her sexual assault seem like it was her fault. Reidenberg says that that sends of a bad message because in reality, the counselor would have told authorities.

Though there are many issues that surround the series, it is very well portrayed. When I watched it, I cried all the way through, but it impacted me in a way that made me see people differently and for me to do my best to be kind to everyone.

Have you watched the show yet? Leave a comment about how it made you feel?

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Opinion: ’13 Reasons Why’ draws controversy amongst viewers