The American Family Association and the Parents Television Council are partnering to bring other family groups together to campaign against a controversial Netflix program.
Tim Winter, president of Parents Television Council, says teen suicide was romanticized in Season 1 of "13 Reasons Why," along with graphic sexual content featured on the teen-targeted series. Season 2 – which PTC says "delivers a demoralizing message of hopelessness" – is already available; and there is now a commitment for a third season.
When challenged at a shareholder meeting last week about the graphic and dangerous content of "13 Reasons Why," Netflix CEO Reed Hastings reportedly responded: "13 Reasons Why has been enormously popular and successful. It's engaging content. It is controversial. But nobody has to watch it." PTC calls that a "callous" response.
Despite that, the PTC president is proud that a "chorus of voices," including groups from across the globe, is taking a stand against the series. "The unifying message is that children everywhere are being threatened by this very toxic television program," he tells OneNewsNow.
According to Winter, Netflix took a very bold positive step when it canceled "House of Cards" because of the sexual misconduct scandal involving its star and executive producer Kevin Spacey. He wants to see some consistency, though.
"... Yet here in real life, children are taking their own lives, they're being traumatized, they are being pushed into deeper, darker depression because of the show," he states, "and Netflix must understand that their corporate accountability, their corporate responsibility, doesn't stop just with 'House of Cards.' It has to also continue to be shows that are impacting children's lives."
An online petition against "13 Reasons Why" calls on Hastings and the Netflix board of directors to "exercise good judgment" and (1) stop the distribution of Season 2 and (2) implement a pricing structure that will allow customers to opt-out of receiving and paying for content they find offensive to their families.
In April, the American Family Association launched a similar petition calling on Netflix to pull Season 1 and cancel Season 2. The Mississippi-based organization says a letter of concern to Hastings in late March "was ignored."
Editor's Note: The American Family Association is the parent organization of the American Family News Network, which operates OneNewsNow.com.