CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - Netflix has announced that the second season of its controversial series "13 Reasons Why" will be hitting the streaming service in mid-May.
The story revolves around a suburban teenager who dies by suicide and leaves behind 13 recordings for the people she says were the reasons she killed herself. The tapes detail everything from betrayal to romantic relationships gone bad to bullying and sexual assault.
The series was met with mixed reaction with some people saying the show highlighted a need for change and understanding while others felt the show glamorized suicide and provided a blueprint for depressed teens.
The announcement about season two's timing came Monday night when Netflix posted the trailer on its social media sites with the tag line "The tapes were just the beginning."
When the show initially premiered in 2017, it was rated TV-MA and three episodes contained "viewer discretion advised" warnings. After initial criticism, Netflix added a warning before the first episode and strengthened the messaging for the graphic episodes.
"Soon after the Season 1 launch, we saw global conversation explode on the controversial topics covered by the series and understood we had a responsibility to support these important discussions," Netflix officials posted last month.
The streaming giant commissioned a global research study with Northwestern University on the impact of media on children and teens.
According to the study, 71% of teens and young adults found the show relatable, and nearly three-quarters of teen and young adult viewers said the show made them feel more comfortable processing tough topics.
Netflix says the study also found that more than half of the teens surveyed reached out to someone to apologize for how they had treated them.
Brian Wright, Vice President of Original Series, said while the show brought up important topics to discuss with their teens, they wanted more resources to have those conversations.
"Parents in our study asked to have the cast come out of character to discuss how to get support," Wright said. "We will be doing just that adding a custom intro at the start of each season with the cast."
Netflix has posted additional resources to 13ReasonsWhy.Info, which it launched after the show debuted.
"The hope is that the steps we're taking now will help support more meaningful conversations as Season 2 rolls out later this year," Wright said in March. "We've seen in our research that teens took positive action after watching the series, and now - more than ever - we are seeing the power and compassion of this generation advocating on behalf of themselves and their peers."
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