CANCEL "13 REASONS WHY"

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"13 Reasons Why," despite what some people may believe, is doing almost nothing to benefit the spread of suicide awareness. Rather, the show has permeated many young, impressionable minds with increasingly dark themes and images that should not be witnessed by anyone, whether on a television screen or in real life. Allow me to provide 13 reasons why Brian Yorkey's show, which was based on Jay Asher's book of the same name, should be canceled.

  1. The show does not portray suicide, mental illness, or physical or emotional trauma in a positive or realistic light whatsoever (i.e. it does not depict such themes as serious struggles that can be overcome with the right help).

  2.  The show blatantly exploits themes related to mental illness and trauma for no other purpose than to entertain.

  3. The show glorifies and romanticizes suicide to an extreme.

  4. This show has actually led many young people to take their own lives in the manner in which the central character, Hannah Baker, does in the show: by leaving notes or recorded messages as "revenge" to their tormentors.

  5. The cast, crew, and creators of the show all seem to be proud of their work for "promoting suicide awareness," but fail to acknowledge the myriad problems the show is causing.

  6. The show portrays suicide, rape, self harm, and extreme violence ON SCREEN, despite the creators having received multiple warnings not to do so before production initially began.

  7. The show encourages suicide as a means of inflicting guilt and enacting final revenge on one's bullies and tormentors.

  8. The show depicts death in an unrealistic way in that it a) suggests that Hannah, who took her own life on screen, is still able to interact with her acquaintances after her death, b) takes the focus away from the gravity of Hannah's mental state and suicide, and c) implies that committing suicide will automatically earn one the respect and love of one's tormentors.

  9. The novel's author, Jay Asher, has recently been accused of sexual harrassment.

  10. The show has reportedly boosted Internet searches related to "how to kill yourself."

  11. The show focuses on characters' suffering, pain, and downward spirals rather than on the fact that there is hope and that help and healing can be found.

  12. The show is meant to serve as representation for the mentally and emotionally vulnerable and unstable, yet it does absolutely nothing to fuel a healthy thought process or suggest a way of finding proper help and treatment.

  13. The show portrays Hannah in a way that suggests that she only committed suicide because she was seeking attention, and it fails to actually display her mental illness and how she endeavored to cope with it.

I could go on with more reasons. I know this show has many fans and supporters, some of whom are of celebrity status, but I implore you to at the very least think about the show's true impacts, regardless of its intentions. "13 Reasons Why" is all but explicitly encouraging people to commit suicide just to get revenge on those who have caused them pain.

My own opinion, after reading Asher's novel and watching the entire first season of the show on Netflix, is that both the book and the show are sick, twisted, and perverted, and that they both romanticize suicide and mental illness, which is something that should never be done, even in the slightest. Suicide is a very real and very serious thing that, despite what the book and the show suggest, cannot be undone, but help can be found and healing is possible. "13 Reasons Why" has done vastly more harm than good, and it will continue to do so if we do not enact change. Please consider signing.



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