MY THOUGHTS ON 13 REASONS WHY TV SERIES (2017) CONTROVERSY

Wednesday, May 03, 2017


It has been nearly two months since 13 Reasons Why aired full episodes on Netflix. The response had been huge internationally. People from all around the world watch and talk about this series - those who have read the book years ago binged to read it again, those who haven't read the book compete to get their hands on the phenomenal book by Jay Asher.

But, unfortunately not every one agree with the idea of showing what it looks like to be bullied and the idea of preventing suicidal in younger viewers. Some people said that, the series is provocative, it glamorizing drugs, bullying, and suicide instead. Some even said the show is dangerous. 

I have read and watched this story and even share my thoughts on both (book review - series review). I love the book. I love the series as well. 

Few weeks ago, I watched an interview of the series cast and creators. I totally agree with the producer that said "People need to gain awareness of how important it is to be understanding towards other people. How important it is to be kind." I totally agree with that.

Bullying, drugs, and suicide are not the new issues. It has been here for so long and people seem to pretend they're not familiar with it. I grew up in a pretty much healthy neighborhood where there's no drug addicts, no bullying, not suicide case. But at school, bullying is real. It happened to me, to everybody else. It could be happen to everyone in different way. 

For me, both the book and the show did not glamorizing anything but to raise awareness of humanity. The show has been truthfully following the original story, although they changed some parts but it's okay. I'm sure I'm not the only one who agree with this. 

Honestly, I don't understand why it's been said 'provocative'. If the show is provocative, then it promotes kindness. It shows us what it feels like to be bullied, to be the victim of sexual harassment, to be stalked. People need to talk about this in right way, not pretending they have talked about it but in reality, people still close their eyes and ears. 

Then also, some people said it triggered people to suicide? I am so pissed to those people who pretend they're understand about mental illness, being so pretentious about it such as depression. In fact, they use the term 'I'm depressed' like it's not a big deal. Do you really depressed? Do you ever had a full month thinking about suicide ideation (thoughts of suicide), wake up like a zombie, and still forcing yourself to smile? Do you? 

Okay, the show shows graphic images of suicide. But I don't agree with the word 'trigger'. Suicide ideation is not coming because you are reading or  watching people suicide. It's not coming as auditory or visual comprehension. The thoughts of suicide come from many ways, triggered by so many factors, one of those is bullying. I have many friends on tumblr, we often discuss their life experience and some of them said they're the victim of broken home, bullying or sexual harassment. They've been bullied for months, years. Before they found the way to get help, they had this idea: if I die, maybe this pain will go away

Why they thought about it? Because they endured so much pain - the pain that some people see so little, the pain that affects everything. So no, from my personal perspective, the series is not triggering people to commit suicide.

There are so many things that remind us to be kind. It's our choice to open our eyes, ears, heart and mind. Either way, please be kind. Please find help if you're bullied, sexual harassed or have suicide ideation. Please be strong. 

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