Mourning Fathers Critical Of Netflix Teen Suicide Series

SAN MATEO (CBS SF) – John Herndon says he looks at his daughter’s photo every day and says “I miss you.”

Herndon’s daughter Bella committed suicide in April after watching the Netflix series – “13 Reasons Why” which centers on teen suicide.

Peter Chiu is also mourning. His 15-year-old niece Priscilla also committed suicide in April and also was a fan of the Netflix series.

Both girls live in the Bay Area, but didn’t know each other.

The series shows the lead character Hanna taking her life after leaving audio tapes describing the “13 Reasons Why.”

Both men say they knew the girls were troubled, but did not know they had watched the show until after they had died.

“So Netflix is showing children how to commit suicide,” Chui said.

“They provide a blueprint for that action,” Herndon added. “I agree with Peter. That is totally irresponsible.”

Former teen star Selena Gomez is the executive producer of the series starring Katherine Langford as bullied schoolgirl Hannah Baker and defended it against the criticism.

“This show is as real as it gets,” she told CBS. “It hits a very important part in me, and I think this is what they need to see. I want them to understand it.”

Clinical psychologist David Swanson does not believe the show is a trigger for teen suicide.

“Anxiety, depression, and huge life stressors are the triggers for suicide,” he said.

In a statement, Neflix said: “We have heard from many viewers that ‘13 Reasons Why’ has opened up a dialogue among parents, teens, schools and mental health advocates around the intense themes and difficult topics depicted.”

But Herndon is not convinced.

“You’re going to tell me that showing the tragic, dramatic death of a 15-year-old girl is supposed to provide some kind, some kind of venue for a discussion?” he said.

Neither Herndon nor Chiu are planning any legal action, but Herndon said he like to meet with Netflix officials to discuss the series future.

For now, both struggle with their grief and sense of loss.

“We’re getting through this as a family,” said Herndon wiping any his tears.

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