AFA: End Netflix's '13 Reasons Why' For It 'Glorifies Teen Suicide'

By Michael W. Chapman | May 8, 2018 | 11:10 AM EDT

Anna Bright, who killed
herself two weeks after
binge-watching Netflix's
"13 Reasons Why." (AFA)

( -- The American Family Association (AFA) is calling on Netflix to not air its second season of the teen series "13 Reasons Why" because it apparently "glorifies suicide," and several teens have already killed themselves in ways that reportedly mimicked suicides depicted on the Netflix program. 

"It's not too late for parents and grandparents to speak up about this teen-targeted series that glorifies suicide," said the AFA in a press release. Season 2 of "13 Reasons Why" is scheduled to air on May 18.

The AFA is encouraging people to sign a petition that calls on Netflix to not broadcast the second season of the show, a petition that has already been signed by 58, 789 people. 

The AFA is also telling the story of the Bright family, whose 14-year-old daughter, Anna, killed herself two weeks after binge-watching the first season of "13 Reasons Why." She reportedly killed herself in a way that was depicted on the Netflix program. 

In a letter to Netflix CEO Reed Hastings, AFA President Tim Wildmon said, "Fourteen-year-old Anna Bright from Alabaster, Alabama, killed herself April 18, 2017, after binge-watching the Netflix series 13 Reasons Why. She is not the only one. Bella Herndon and Priscilla Chiu, both 15-year-olds from California, also took their own lives just days after watching Hannah Baker kill herself on 13 Reasons Why."

"Statistics and research indicate that Anna, Bella, Priscilla, and others are not the only ones whose suicides have been fueled by watching 13 Reasons Why," wrote Wildmon. "I would like to meet with you to (1) discuss our concerns about this Netflix original series and (2) find ways in which Netflix can improve the ability of parents to control access to your programming." 

Netflix CEO Reed Hastings, who did not respond to the AFA's letter about suicide victim
Anna Bright and the group's concerns about "13 Reasons Why."  (YouTube)

Netflix CEO Reed Hastings did not respond to the letter. 

Commenting on Anna Bright, AFA writer Rebecca Davis wrote, “Anna Bright was a self-taught artist, musician, writer, photographer, vocalist, beauty queen, cheerleader, scholar and friend. But on the inside, she was fighting a deep, dark battle of which her parents had no idea and to which her peers paid little attention. She hid it behind her smile and quirky personality."

"Young people become desensitized to the content in ‘13 Reasons Why,’ especially when they binge-watch it, like Anna did," said Davis. "When they immerse themselves in it for 13 hours straight, it becomes their everyday reality, the norm. The influence of media is powerful, especially when it feeds the innate sin in one’s heart.”

In July 2017, the Washington Post reported that "internet searches about suicide were significantly higher than expected" within the three weeks after the release of "13 Reasons Why."

(Screenshot: YouTube)

The Post further reported, "New research suggests that the show -- perhaps this very [suicide] scene -- could have triggered suicidal thoughts in its viewers, many of whom are young people." 

A study in the journal JAMA Internal Medicine said, “Our analyses suggest 13 Reasons Why, in its present form, has both increased suicidal awareness while unintentionally increasing suicidal ideation.  The most rising queries focused on suicidal ideation. For instance, ‘how to commit suicide,' ‘commit suicide’ and ‘how to kill yourself’ were all significantly higher.”

Anna Bright's father, Joseph, said, "What you watch, what you take in, what you listen to is so important, and you need to guard your heart.

Anna's mother, Patrice, said, "We know for a fact that our home was invaded by darkness. However anybody wants to look at it, it was a spiritual battle that was lost, but it wasn't the eternal battle that was lost."

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Michael W. Chapman
Michael W. Chapman
Michael W. Chapman