Evangelist Ray Comfort, the maker of a new film on suicide that emphasizes the value of life, is warning that the Netflix series on suicide, “13 Reasons Why,” goes the wrong direction on the issue of self-destruction by teens, which has engulfed communities and even has drawn concern in the left-leaning Rolling Stone.
Comfort points to the Netflix series’ portrayal of suicide through a character named Hannah Baker, who leaves behind 13 tapes for her friends.
“She doesn’t jump off a bridge, leaving what happened to her to the imagination,” Comfort told WND. “Rather, she sits in a bathtub fully clothed, takes a razor blade, and slits her wrists lengthwise.”
He continued: “I forced myself to watch the scene, and even though I know it’s only acting, with special effects, I found it horrific. It brought me to tears.”
His concern is also raised by Alexa Curtis in Rolling Stone.
“Despite the heartbreaking scenes and soul-crushing realities depicted, as I watched the show, I wondered, does ’13 Reasons Why’ glamorize suicide?” Curtis wrote.
“As a 19-year-old who deals with the issues of online bullying every day – both as a blogger and as the founder of Media Impact and Navigation for Teens (MINT), an organization that works directly with teens in school – I think it’s important to approach the conversation of online bullying and suicide carefully. And I’m not sure this show did that.”
She explained: “As I watched, I found the aftermath of her suicide troubling. In real life, when someone commits suicide, their story ends there. ’13 Reasons Why’ failed to end Baker’s story, since she lives on through the tapes. We become captivated by the drama of the suicide rather than the actual suicide itself.”
Recently, there have been periodic epidemics of teen suicide in the United States in which three, four or more kill themselves in a short time period.
The London Daily Mail reported two families near San Francisco lost their daughters, Bella Herndon and Priscilla Chiu, to suicide in April.
The families specifically blamed “13 Reasons.”
“Both girls had just finished watching the Netflix drama, which was filmed in the Bay area,” the report explains. “Both of their families are speaking publicly for the first time about their daughters, to say the show was a trigger for the two girls.”