Netflix original series 13 Reasons Why faces yet another controversy after two families blamed the show for the suicides of their teen daughters.
Two grieving families from the Bay Area recently stepped out and shared the tragic fate of their two teen daughters who took their own lives. In April, two 15-year-old girls, Bella Herndon and Priscilla Chiu, committed suicide allegedly triggered by the Netflix series, 13 Reasons Why.
The two teens, who have not known each other, reportedly watched and finished the show at around the same time and died just four days apart. The families of the girls are now blaming the series, adding that it triggered the suicide. They also reiterated the notion that the show glorifies self-killing.
Speaking with the KTVU, Herndon’s parents revealed that she had a history of depression and battled it in the past. The mourning parents also shared that their daughter appeared to be much happier lately and even had new friends visiting the house.
Her mother Donna recalled the tragic day when she found the lifeless body of her daughter.
“All I could see is that she was on her knees bent over, like she was digging in the closet. I thought she was joking around ’cause there’s really nothing to find in her closet. So I laughed and said, ‘Hey Bella, what are you doing?’ And then I got closer and she had hung herself. She was so blue.”
Chiu, who lived with her uncle Peter, revealed that the teenager had also battled depression and struggled in school. He added that he had missed the signs that something was wrong, wishing he had done things a little differently.
“She was precocious. She’s very determined. I just remember her brother running out and screaming, ‘Priscilla hung herself!’ We took her down, called 911, tried to do what we could…CPR, but it was pretty obvious. She was cold.”
Both families also condemn 13 Reasons Why for its “very graphic” depiction of Hannah’s suicide. Peter Chui described the two-minute scene where she slits her wrists in a bathtub as something dangerous that could trigger suicidal instincts of a small percentage of young adults. He also added that the show only gives one alternative for bullying and other issues — that is to commit suicide.
On the other hand, John Herndon stated that he’s not convinced that 13 Reasons Why was “trying to attract attention to the issue of teen suicide by showing a little girl killing herself. There’s nothing positive about that.”
The families are now asking for the cancellation of the renewal for the second season of 13 Reasons Why. John Herndon, who was clearly not happy about the show’s continuation, commented about it.
“Don’t go through with the renewal for the second season of 13 Reasons Why. Stop this. This is wrong. You’re making money off the misery of others.”
Peter Chui, on the other hand, asked Selena Gomez to use her popularity to spread the word that suicide is not an option.
“I would implore and beg Selena Gomez because she has a huge platform to please reach out to our kids and please tell them there are other options. There are other resources out there. This is not a way out for you.”
Meanwhile, Netflix has released a statement in response to the tragic death of two teenagers in California.
“Our hearts go out to these families during this difficult time. We have heard from many viewers that 13 Reasons Why has opened up a dialogue among parents, teens, schools and mental health advocates around the difficult topics depicted in the show.”
[Featured Image by Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP Images]