In a lengthy release posted to their website on Wednesday, the streaming service revealed that they are "taking action" and making changes to the series in hopes of helping parents and teens discuss the "uncomfortable" topics that are often played out on the show.
Season one was centered around the story of Hannah Baker (Katherine Langford), who took her own life. Before her tragic death, the troubled teen recorded her personal story, giving clues to what led to her suicide, on a set of cassette tapes, which were later passed around to her classmates. Due to its coverage of issues like suicide, depression, bullying and rape, the series received some backlash from its viewers last year. But with season two, Netflix hopes to "be a powerful agent for change" with four big updates.
"To understand whether and how the series opened dialogue between teens and parents, we commissioned a global research study with Northwestern University’s Center on Media and Human Development, which has an active research focus on the impact of media on children and teens," Netflix said in the statement. "Today, Northwestern released the results of that 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. Some of the findings were unexpected and profound - more than half of teens reached out to someone to apologize for how they had treated them, and nearly three-quarters of teens said that they tried to be more considerate about how they treated others after watching the show."
"At the same time," the statement continued, "research indicated the majority of parents felt that while the show brought up important topics, they wanted more resources from us."
So, how do they plan to make a stronger, more positive impact this time around?
1. Season two will now begin with a custom intro video of the 13 Reasons Why actors and actresses out of character, explaining how to get support.
2. Additional resources have been added to 13ReasonsWhy.Info. "[The site] will now include a viewing guide to help parents and teens start these tough conversations," Netflix explained.
3. A new after-show is in the works, where actors, experts and educators will help advise parents on how to have more informed discussions with their teenagers.
4. Additionally, Netflix is also working with several groups around the world to "provide support within their communities on the issues presented in the series."
13 Reasons Why will return to Netflix sometime later this year. In the meantime, watch the video below to hear everything we know (so far!) about the all-new season.