tech news

Judge sides with Netflix over ’13 Reasons Why’ teen suicide lawsuit


The finale of the first season contains a nearly three-minute-long suicide scene of a teenage girl that Netflix has since removed. (Picture: Netflix)

Netflix was sued by a father who blamed his 15-year-old daughter’s death by suicide on the streaming giant’s show ‘13 Reasons Why’.

This week, a judge dismissed the lawsuit saying that Netflix cannot be sued over recommending the show to viewers, citing free speech protections.

John Herndon said that his daughter Bella ‘died as a result of the tortious acts and omissions of Netflix that caused, or at least substantially contributed to, her suicide,’

‘This is a tragic case,’ said US District Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers. ‘But ultimately, I don’t think that it survives,’

The lawsuit was filed in August by Herndon, alleging Netflix failed to adequately warn viewers about its content in the show ’13 Reasons Why’ and that its algorithms targeted vulnerable children and ‘manipulate[d] them into watching content that was deeply harmful to them’.

The finale of the first season contains a nearly three-minute-long suicide scene of a teenage girl that Netflix has since removed.

Netflix called the lawsuit ‘fundamentally misguided’ as it came four years after the girl’s suicide. (Credits: AP)

The streaming giant moved to dismiss the lawsuit under California’s anti-SLAPP statute, which compels the dismissal of claims challenging speech that might be protected.

In court filings, Netflix called the lawsuit ‘fundamentally misguided’ as it came four years after the girl’s suicide. It also pointed out that ’13 Reasons Why’ was not the first show to portray teen suicides, noting movies such as The Perks of Being a Wallflower, Dead Poets Society and Dear Evan Hansen. 

The streaming giant said that restrictions on content would lead to ‘censorship of creative works’.

The suit claimed that Netflix recommended the show to children without their adult parents/guardians not being informed that watching the show could lead to suicide or suicidal ideations.

The case was filed as a class-action suit, alleging that his daughter and ‘those similarly situated to her’ were harmed.

The judge ordered the plaintiff to respond by Jan. 18 on whether he wanted to file an amended complaint. She said she based her ruling on free speech protections, per the media outlet.

The show follows 17-year-old Hannah who, before her death, recorded cassettes that detail 13 reasons why she took her own life.

Mental health experts previously accused the series of glamorising suicide to its young audience.

Researchers from Michigan Medicine at the University of Michigan in the US said at the time that their studies ‘confirm that should definitely be concerned about its impact on impressionable and vulnerable youth.’

Metro.co.uk has reached out to Netflix for comment.


MORE : Patients ‘watch Netflix’ stuck in queue of ambulances outside hospital


MORE : Michigan high school shooter ‘posted pictures of guns’ before massacre and is on suicide watch





READ SOURCE

Leave a Reply

This website uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you accept our use of cookies.  Learn more