Phoebe Prince's father criticises Netflix's '13 Reasons Why'

The teenager took her own life in 2010

Phoebe Prince's father criticises Netflix's '13 Reasons Why'

Image: Netflix

The father of teenager Phoebe Prince has said a popular new Netflix series risks glorifying suicide in the minds of vulnerable young people.

13 Reasons Why focuses on a young girl who dies by suicide, leaving behind 13 audio recordings on tapes. The recordings are each addressed to a person who the girl says played a role in her tragic decision.

Jeremy Prince's 15 year-old daughter took her life in January 2010 after persistent bullying in America, after moving there from Fanore, Co. Clare. 

Mr Prince told the Sunday Independent that the programme risks "planting a seed" in the minds of young viewers. 

"It's about the way it's presented," he said. "What is being publicised can be misinterpreted by the vulnerable as a solution, not as a problem."

Mr Prince stressed that school authorities must remain vigilant to any behavioural changes in students. 

Phoebe Prince

Boycott

Mr Prince's comments come after the National Suicide Research Foundation (NSRF) called for the show to be boycotted.

Ella Arensman, director of research at the NSRF said: "When you look at the overall series, the guidelines for the reporting of suicide have been ignored or violated on a very wide scale.

"These are guidelines that are endorsed by the World Health Organisation (WHO) so it is not professional for a producer or a director to not take the guidelines into consideration.

"It is unethical to present details so graphically that it can start to be damaging or suggestive for other young vulnerable people."

Defense 

Executive producer Selena Gomez responded to criticisms while speaking with the Associated Press this week.

Gomez said that their goal was to reflect the dark, serious tone set by the book of the same name.

"We stayed very true to the book and that's initially what Jay Asher [the author] created, was a beautifully tragic, complicated yet suspenseful story, and I think that's what we wanted to do," she told the AP.

"We wanted to do it justice and, yeah, [the backlash is] going to come no matter what. It's not an easy subject to talk about, but I'm very fortunate with how it's doing and I’m overwhelmed, very proud of it."

Selena Gomez at the WE Day California 2017 held at the Forum in Inglewood, USA. Image: Lumeimages/SIPA USA/PA Images

Relevant helplines that can be accessed by people in distress include: Childline: 1800 66 66 66; Aware: 1800 80 48 48; Samaritans: 116 123 and relevant websites: www.reachout.com, www.aware.iewww.yourmentalhealth.ie, www.jigsaw.ie