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The Most Controversial Content on Netflix

By A. Elise

As Netflix becomes more successful, even its most controversial shows grow in viewership. It becomes much easier to gather views, and more people begin discussing the more controversial elements of the show.

While many Netflix shows, including the streaming service's original content, are wildly popular, some have had mixed reception based on more controversial elements. Some shows have huge issues with representation, some have controversial actors, and others have content many find difficult to watch.

These are some of the most controversial television shows you can find on Netflix.

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Don't Fk With Cats: Hunting an Internet Killer

White cat lying down
Unsplash | C. Z. Shi

One of the latest controversial documentaries to appear on Netflix was Don't F**k With Cats: Hunting an Internet Killer. The streaming service thought nothing of auto-playing ads for the show, which featured graphic content of animal abuse. Even those who had no interest in seeing the graphic material were subjected to the video ad.

The true crime doc was controversial in its own right. It showed graphic content of real-life animal abuse that spawned the hunt for a murderer with the help of web sleuths.

Gwenyth Paltrow
Gettyimages | Rachel Murray

Goop Lab, which features Goop owner Gwyneth Paltrow, has been deemed dangerous by many people who have seen it. Many of the services and products shown on the series have been deemed pseudoscience, and some people believe they are even harmful.

In one episode, the series delves into the use of psychedelics as a form of therapy for issues like PTSD and depression. In another, it focuses on cold exposure therapy, which can be dangerous and result in hypothermia and shock. The show also discusses energy healing.


When Netflix developed Atypical, it was intended to represent individuals with autism. On the other hand, many viewers have pointed out that the show does not give those with autism a thorough and authentic voice.

Some people felt that the characters in the show were merely stereotypes. Some have even said that the show gives individuals with autism more stigma. It may actually harm the cause, not promote understanding.

In February 2020, it was announced that the show was cancelled after its fourth season.

Cast of '13 Reasons Why'
Gettyimages | Frazer Harrison

One of the most successful shows on Netflix has been 13 Reasons Why. The show had a premise that was controversial from the start.

The plot of 13 Reasons Why focuses on the suicide of a teenager named Hannah. Before Hannah dies, she records tapes that discuss her reasons for choosing suicide. She blames several people for causing emotional damage. Some interpreted the show to imply that suicide was a good source of revenge.

The show itself uses a lot of flashbacks to depict issues like bullying, sexual assault, and even the suicide itself. Many people said this was irresponsible of Netflix.

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