Netflix's The Politician kicks off with warning to viewers 'who struggle with mental health'
WARNING: This article contains spoilers about the first episode of Netflix’s The Politician. Read at your own risk.
Another Netflix show has earned a “viewer discretion is advised” warning.
“The Politician is a comedy about moxie, ambition, and getting what you want at all costs. But for those who struggle with mental health, some elements may be disturbing,” it reads. “Viewer discretion is advised.”
The Politician is a satire that stars Ben Platt as an overachieving high school student named Payton Hobart, who believes the first step in achieving his goal of becoming president of the United States is to become student body president. But in doing so, he’ll have to beat the super-attractive and super-popular River (David Corenswet), who takes his own life during the episode.
EW has learned that Netflix and the producers wanted to tell River’s story in a responsible way, so they consulted with the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention and issued a warning at the organization’s advice.
Netflix stepped up its use of content advisories for 13 Reasons Why, after that show set off alarm bells over its depiction of rape scenes and teen suicide. Several warnings were added to season 3 of the show, and Netflix recently edited the episode containing Hannah’s death to exclude the moment where she slits her wrists.
“There has been a tremendous amount of discussion about our series 13 Reasons Why,” explained Netflix in a statement shortly after the series’ debut. “While many of our members find the show to be a valuable driver for starting an important conversation with their families, we have also heard concern from those who feel the series should carry additional advisories. Currently, the episodes that carry graphic content are identified as such and the series overall carries a TV-MA rating. Moving forward, we will add an additional viewer warning card before the first episode as an extra precaution for those about to start the series and have also strengthened the messaging and resource language in the existing cards for episodes that contain graphic subject matter, including the URL 13ReasonsWhy.info — a global resource center that provides information about professional organizations that support help around the serious matters addressed in the show.”
The National Association of School Psychologists warned that “exposure to another person’s suicide, or to graphic or sensationalized accounts of death, can be one of the many risk factors that youth struggling with mental health conditions cite as a reason they contemplate or attempt suicide.” It also went on to recommend that such youths avoid 13 Reasons Why.