When Netflix began as a mail-order movie rental company back in 1997, many scoffed at the concept. Who would want to have a movie shipped to you when you can just drive down to the nearby rental store and browse the aisles? Then a decade later it moved on to online streaming, leading to the infamous Blockbuster Video tweet offering a free one-year subscription to the three most creative responses to “Why are you leaving Netflix?” Today Netflix continues to do pretty well for itself while Blockbuster Video is down to its last store (which you can learn more about in the documentary The Last Blockbuster, available on Netflix because of course it is!). However, the world’s most popular streaming service isn’t without its share of controversy. Here is a look at 5 times when Netflix made a whole lot of people angry.
A Series That Glamorizes Suicide?
When 13 Reasons Why, a series based on the Jay Asher novel of the same name, came out in 2017, it was met with generally positive reviews. However, the theme of the series, which focuses students at a high school who are forced to deal with the aftermath of a suicide of one of their own, was a bit too heavy for many viewers. Aside from the main plot revolving around a girl who records a series of cassette tapes blaming classmates for her decision to take her life, there are also depictions of sexual assault, rape and bullying that compelled mental health organizations to take a stand against the show. The National Association of School Psychologists expressed concern that the show could lead to higher rates of suicide, although this was never proven. Netflix opted to renew the series for 3 subsequent seasons, but also added a disclaimer at the start of each episode to warn viewers about the distressing content.