PostSecret, an ongoing community mail art project in which people mail their secrets anonymously on a homemade postcard, has taken to their Facebook page to speak out against Netflix’s book-turned-original series, “13 Reasons Why“.
The people behind the website shared a link to the “13 Reasons Why” Tumblr page, which has apparently used a bunch of PostSecret’s mail art as part of their marketing campaign.
In their caption, PostSecret wrote, “I wish 13 REASONS WHY would have asked before they include PostSecret images from our community in their marketing campaign.”
PostSecret, which started as an experiment on Blogger, prides itself in being a platform for people to decorate a postcard and write a secret that they had never previously revealed. Submissions can remain anonymous, but the only catch is that they must be completely truthful and must never have been spoken before. Entries range from admissions of sexual misconduct and criminal activity to confessions of secret desires, embarrassing habits, hopes and dreams. Its founder, Frank Warren, is known to be advocate in suicide prevention. In April 2008, he teamed up with 1-800-suicide to answer anonymous cries for help through peer run crisis hotlines on college campuses.
The multiple Weblog award-winning website has since spun off to become books (5 to date in total), exhibit/museum features, inspiration for “CSI:NY” and “CSI:Cyber” episodes, so on and so forth.
Scores of PostSecret’s 1.6 million Facebook fans have chimed in on the blatant plagiarism as well as the Netflix original series’ failure in raising suicide awareness.
“I wish ’13 Reasons Why’ would have asked for more input from mental health professionals before producing this dangerously flawed series,” Randy Hensley wrote, while Novinha Jane commented, “Wow…. astoundingly rude . I’m sorry someone stole your efforts and the arts of so many. At least those of us who have made post cards and sent them to you, knew what, where, and how they COULD be used. I can’t imagine seeing my personal post card used as advertisement… Particularly since I think this series is JUNK that sends a terrible message to those who struggle.”
Alisha Zak called the marketing team for “13 Reasons Why” out to be insensitive, saying, “Do they not realize these are people’s personal secrets? Yes, they send them knowing there’s a chance Frank will post them but to outright steal a person’s story for the promotion of a TV show is wrong and hurtful. For a show that says it shares a Suicide Prevention theme, they’re awfully insensitive.”
Netflix has yet to respond to PostSecret.
Last month, a 23-year-old in Peru left behind several tapes after his suicide, raising speculations that it might be the first “13 Reasons Why” copycat suicide.