13 Reasons Why was the most searched series of 2017. For those who haven't watched, it tells the story of Hannah Baker and the bullying she endured in high school. Ultimately, she ends up taking her own life after recording a set of cassettes tapes – one for each person in her life who contributed to the decision she made to take her own. Ever since Netflix released the show, there has been a debate over whether or not it was glamorizing suicide or if it really was spreading awareness about this very serious issue. Obviously, with Selena Gomez backing the project and executive producing it, the whole thing garnered even more attention.
The second season of 13 Reasons Why has officially finished filming and Selena even attended the wrap party. But, now, one father is speaking out against the series making a valid case about why it may not be something that teenagers should be watching, especially if they are already dealing with depression and mental instability.
John Herndon, the father of his 15-year-old daughter Bella Herndon who took her own life in April, told RadarOnline, "I’m still completely disgusted. Selena makes me sick. She is an extremely disturbed individual to think that this show has any kind of redeeming social value at all." After Bella's funeral, John found out that she had been binge-watching 13 Reasons Why shortly before her death. He believes that the show was a trigger.
He said, "Remember that there are teens out there that are in a little darker place and these could be your friends, your sisters. Selena Gomez and Netflix need to understand that not everybody’s going to understand this very well. Some people who are battling with depression, this could catch them at the wrong time, creating what is called the trigger event."
John is very passionate about this issue – for good reason. He actually contacted Selena asking them to stop supporting the show, but he never got a response. John continued, "I asked that she remove her support and get Netflix to stop. I received no response. They [Netflix] made those decisions to make themselves look like a socially responsible company yet they are making a product about people who are hurt and how they can hurt themselves...Every day we’re assaulted by these feelings we get for Bella. I can’t control how sick it makes me feel."
John also slammed Selena for the way she has publicly handled and talked about her kidney transplant. He explained, "She has spared no expense rattling her own saber about her kidney transplant. She talked about how painful it was and spent significant effort getting that ‘oh poor me’ out there. That’s just disgusting."
And while he wants to sue, he doesn't think he could afford it at the moment. "Suing a billion-dollar company like Netflix is not within my means right now unless there are other like-minded individuals that want to engage collectively together to bring a suit against them." If it were to happen, John would reportedly bring up a wrongful death suit against, "Selena, Netflix, the show director, screenwriter – anybody I could think of." Our hearts and prayers go out to Bella's family and friends.
If you or anyone you know is struggling with depression, thinking about taking their own life or needs help, please call 1-800-273-8255.