By James Linn
A hit Netflix TV Series has come under fire from viewers after a new study found it raised the youth suicide rate by 30 percent in the US.
13 Reasons Why into its third season, and is no stranger to controversy. When it was released, it was slammed by critics for romanticising suicide and glorifying it as a means for revenge.
The new study by America’s National Institute of Mental Health claims that in the month following the premiere of the series, the number of youth suicides spiked by nearly 30 percent.
The findings alarmed audiences and some called, for production to stop and for Netflix to pull it from its catalogue.
Perth Filmmaker, Damian Fasalo thinks the calls to pull the show is an alarming trend.
“I think an artist or filmmaker should be able to say what they want and I believe there is a duty on the audience to interpret that accordingly,” said Fasolo.
“If a broadcaster wants to control that, it’s another issue.”
Netflix is yet to respond to the calls for the show to be axed.
Associate Professor Penelope Haskings from Curtin University’s School Of Psychology believes the company should be held accountable.
“Media can have both [a] positive and negative impact, so the framing, presentation, and language used is critical,” said Haskings.
Fasolo disagrees:“It’s like saying we shouldn’t make films like Western’s because people might shoot each other.
“It’s assuming the audience is completely passive and not able to interpret the intentions of the film or how it should affect them.”
“Ask yourself, is TV a mirror to society or is it creating how society is?”
Anyone needing support can contact Lifeline on 13 11 14 or Kids Helpline on 1800 55 1800
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