“Look, it’s a controversial show from the beginning,” Netflix VP Original Series Cindy Holland said at TCA of 13 Reasons Why, which became radioactive in Season 2 , when one parenting group blasted the streaming service, warning it could have “the blood of children on their hands” for the show’s graphic depictions of suicide and sexual violence.
“Brian [Yorkey] felt very strongly about the topics covered in Season 2,” Holland said in a scrum after her first TCA at-bat.
Netflix execs have heard Yorkey and the writers’ plans for Season 3 and they’ve gone off to write that, she said, while emphasizing Yorkey takes feedback from fans and community, and is “seeking to be mindful.”
Asked after scrum, in a one-on-one with Deadline’s Nellie Andreeva, if Netflix ever considered not continuing the series because of the controversy, Holland responded, “Honestly, the biggest consideration was, is there more story to be told and what is that story?”
During discussions with Yorkey and his writing team, “we had a very thoughtful conversation about the fact that we needed to see how these characters move on, to the extent to which they move on, following Jessica through her journey of recovery following that kind of trauma,” Holland described.
“We felt we owed it to the characters as much as to the fans,” Holland said, calling 13 Reasons Why one of the streaming service’s most popular shows.
“13 Reasons Why has been enormously popular and successful. It’s engaging content,” Hastings boasted during the company’s annual shareholder meeting. “It is controversial. But nobody has to watch it.”
Parents Television Council called that response “callous” and launched an online petition calling on Hastings and the Netflix board of directors to cease distribution of the show, or give subscribers a way to opt-out of receiving or paying for the program.
“[Hastings] is ostensibly proclaiming that financial gain for Netflix trumps the real-life consequences of his programming,” said PTC President Tim Winter. “Is that what Mr. Hastings and Netflix stand for in today’s world of #MeToo, whereby women who are sexually harassed in the workplace are told ‘nobody has to work here?’ Is that his opinion on marketing tobacco to children, or for other dangerous products that enter the stream of commerce and cause injury or death, that ‘nobody needs to buy it?’”
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