A Florida mother whose 15-year-old daughter attempted suicide on Mother’s Day says she mimicked her methods after the Netflix show 13 Reasons Why.
The woman, who spoke anonymously to the Okeechobee News, said her daughter slit her wrists in the bathtub while the rest of the family was celebrating. “It’s taking too long … it’s not like on 13 Reasons,” the girl allegedly wrote to two boys who were part of their suicide pact.
The mother said her daughter, the two boys and two other girls were planning to run away and change their identities in search of a life without “adults telling them what to do”. If that didn’t work, they planned to commit suicide.
One of the boys called 911 after the girl sent a Snapchat video of her attempt and she was taken to the emergency room, then a mental health facility. She’s home now and recovering.
“I’m angry that show is out there, and even more angry there is now a season two,” the mother said. “Why even put these shows out there and put it in her mind to try to kill herself the way it is done in this show?”
In a statement to the Daily News, a spokesperson for Netflix said they are “very saddened to hear about this and grateful to those who intervened to help”.
Each episode of 13 Reasons Why opens with a warning, but that hasn’t stopped advocacy groups, including the Parents Council, from accusing the show of glamorising suicide. Last year, two California families said their daughters committed suicide after watching the show, calling it a “trigger.”
Star Katherine Langford, however, defended her show’s graphic depictions. “I think things like these instigate discussion, which is the important part,” she said on The Tonight Show in May 2017.
“And I think we cover so many important issues in the show that are going to affect people differently depending on their own personal context.” – New York Daily News/Tribune News Service