I am thankful to my wife for bringing to my attention the huge plea for help coming from teenagers set to script in the Netflix show, “13 Reasons Why.” A teen girl commits suicide and leaves messages seeking revenge on the 13 kids who pushed her to it. Parents and leaders, we need to pay close attention here. This is not a review so you can go read more from other writers below. This, rather, is a plea to enter the darkness that your teen, or their friends, very likely are in right now.
The fact that a show is so wildly popular that is “saturated in sin, stark and unrelenting—incessant swearing, physical violence, sexual assault, drug use, alcohol abuse, stalking, voyeurism, pornography, bullying, sexual experimentation, rape, verbal abuse of the vilest variety, and a graphic depiction of suicide,” as described by Trevin Wax, should tell us our children are crying out from a pit of darkness. But will their parents and leaders hear their plea for help.
Parent, your teen is watching this show, unless you have an extremely rare one. Otherwise, likely all their friends are watching it. Please talk with your teen about their world in a gospel-filled way. Don’t just force them to turn off the show. This is NOT about boycotting bad shows. Rather it is about bringing light into the confusing darkness of raw high school life. Rather it is about noticing that our kids may be contemplating suicide, themselves, or at least caught in despair and guilt because of how their life is nothing like what they’ve hoped it might be. They need you to point them to Jesus.
“A lot of you cared, just not enough,” from 13 Reasons Why.
Go read the reviews written by:
My wife, Jenifer Newman here.
Editor at LifeWay, Trevin Wax, here.
President of the Ethics and Religious Liberties Commission, Russell Moore, here.