PTC: Netflix Needs to Do More With '13 Reasons'

The Parents Television Council has given Netflix a laundry list of things it says needs to happen related to the second season of 13 Reasons Why (opens in new tab), the streamed series that ended its first season with the suicide of a high-school aged child. Those things include holding back on releasing it.

Related: PTC: Streaming Services Lack Robust Parental Controls 

PTC praised Netflix for instituting some viewer protections for the series (it added a content warning). It cited a research report Netflix commissioned to say that the company has "full knowledge" of the show's impact, though the study generally found a positive impact, saying it served as an "educational tool for young people, promoted parent/child conversations and inspired more compassion among teen and adolescent viewers." 

Related: Trump Criticizes Movie, Video Violence 

PTC did not see it that way. “Parents may believe that Netflix is ‘safer’ for their families than other forms of entertainment, but the reality is that it is," said PTC President Tim Winter. "Parents need to be aware of ’13 Reasons Why,’ and this insidious digital media culture that is engulfing our children and teens." 

In addition to holding off on release until it has been deemed safe by the "scientific community," PTC wants Netflix to change its pricing structure so parents can exclude violent content and pay less for the service, employ a filtering company like VidAngel to help filter out content, use its platform for suicide prevention messages, and participate in a national dialog on protecting children from inappropriate content. 

A Netflix spokesperson was not available for comment at press time.

John Eggerton

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.