New Zealand teenagers have to watch Netflix show ’13 Reasons Why’ with their parents

The controversial drama has been reclassified in the country

New Zealand has ruled that under-18s can only watch controversial new Netflix show 13 Reasons Why with their parents.

Executive produced by Selena Gomez, 13 Reasons Why launched on the streaming service on March 31. It tells the story of a teenage girl who reveals the reasons she committed suicide through a series of tapes sent to members of her peer group.

Recently, an Australian mental health charity warned that 13 Reasons Why contains “dangerous content”. Actress Shannon Purser – Barb from Stranger Things – has also said she thinks the show isn’t suitable for some more vulnerable viewers.


BBC Newsbeat now reports that the show has been reclassified in New Zealand, with the country’s Office of Film & Literature Classification creating a new category for the show: RP18, which means any individuals under that age must be supervised by an adult.

13 Reasons Why
13 Reasons Why

“The most immediate concern for the Classification Office is how teen suicide is discussed and shown in 13 Reasons Why,” reads a statement by the Office of Film & Literature Classification. “Hannah’s suicide is presented fatalistically. Her death is represented at times as not only a logical, but an unavoidable outcome of the events that follow. Suicide should not be presented to anyone as being the result of clear headed thinking. Suicide is preventable, and most people who experience suicidal thoughts are not thinking rationally and therefore cannot make logical decisions.”

[sidebar id=”premium_inline_1″]

New Zealand has the highest rate of teen suicide in the developed world. 13 Reasons Why, which is already the most tweeted-about show of the year, is rated 18 in the UK.

The show’s writer has previously responded to criticism of the way it portrays suicide.

[sidebar id=”premium_inline_before_last_p”]

“When it came time to discuss the portrayal of the protagonist’s suicide in 13 Reasons Why, I of course immediately flashed on my own experience,” writer Nic Scheff said. “It seemed to me the perfect opportunity to show what an actual suicide really looks like – to dispel the myth of the quiet drifting off, and to make viewers face the reality of what happens when you jump from a burning building into something much, much worse.”


Terry Gilliam: “We’re doomed – what is going on with the world?”

The brain behind some of cinema's craziest epics talks climate change, Adolf Hitler, Brexit Britain – and getting his big break with Terry Jones

Courteeners’ Liam Fray: “The band is my life. When it’s not going great, my life’s not going great”

Fray on the road through darkness that led to new album 'More. Again. Forever.'

Savages’s Jehnny Beth tells us how David Bowie and ‘Peaky Blinders’ shaped her wild solo album

"In my core I felt that there was something that I hadn’t done yet – and that was this record"