On March 31, the entire world stopped what they were doing to binge watch the Netflix original series, “Thirteen Reasons Why.” It quickly became a worldwide hit; many individuals watched the thirteen-hour series in one weekend.
Based on the best-selling novel by Jay Asher, “Thirteen Reasons Why” follows the story of Clay, a teenage boy who has just received a series of tapes from Hannah Baker, who recently committed suicide. Each tape pin-points one person that influenced her decision. There has been controversy over how the tapes are depicted, and scenes that are too sensitive to show.
The series hits home to many viewers. It includes very sensitive topics such as rape, violence, sexuality, and suicide. Each tape reveals a different person that has caused Hannah to end her life. The way that the show revealed each “reason” was very triggering and controversial.
The series shows two rape scenes. One of them occurs on “Cassette 5: Side B,” where Hannah was a witness to the rape of Jessica, who also has her own tape. Although she was only a bystander, she was scarred watching the assault. The actual portrayal of rape showed a “male” who was not yet revealed, thrusting into an unconscious Jessica.
Hannah records a tape of her own rape as well on “Cassette 6: Side B.” Hannah stumbles into a party with people that she thought were her friends. Once everyone leaves, the character Bryce makes a move on her. He holds her down and rapes her in a hot tub. Hannah is restrained and unable to move.
Many rape victims have come forward, stating the scenes were triggering to them . Stay-at-home mom Malorie Ann, via Inquisitr, stated “I’m a sexual assault survivor and the first rape scene caught me off guard because I had not read the book. It was so real and almost exactly what happened to me 10 years ago, my PTSD [Post-traumatic stress disorder] was triggered and I had to take a break from watching.”
During the final episode, tape, Hannah gives life one last chance. She decides to speak to the guidance counselor, Mr. Porter. The counselor does nothing to help Hannah. Clay Jenson goes and talks to the Mr. Porter after listening to the tapes, and explains what Hannah did to herself.
Sparing the gruesome details, the series shows Hannah slitting her writs in a bathtub where here parents find her having bled to death. In my opinion, this is something that should not have been shown on screen. It causes many viewers distress to watch someone take their own life.
Maya Pleninger a junior at Manhattanville, who binged the show in one week exclaimed that “the scene was too awful to watch, I had to close my eyes until it was over.”
Although the show did put a disclaimer at the beginning of the episode of the final tape, the audience was unaware of what was going to occur during the closing episode. While the audience knew that Hannah Baker committed suicide, no one thought the producers would portray the actual scene.
In my opinion, “Thirteen Reasons Why” should not have gone about portraying suicide in such a raw and graphic way. The heart wrenching scene where her parents found her is not suitable for younger audiences.
The producer should have put a “Trigger Warning” out to all those that are experiencing thoughts of suicide and warn them not to watch the series. Those who are struggling would not have to experience triggering effects.