13 Reasons Why Edits Controversial Suicide Scene
The Netflix show 13 Reasons Why has edited the controversial season one scene that despicts the show’s protagonist, Hannah Baker (played by actress Katherine Langford), commiting suicide. The change comes before the show’s third season premieres on Netflix sometime later this summer.
The streaming service announced the change over its social media channels on July 15 in a statement that said: “We’ve heard from many young people that 13 Reasons Why encouraged them to start conversations about difficult issues like depression and suicide and get help.” The company said that it was editing the scene on the advice of medical professionals, including Dr. Christine Moutier, the Chief Medical Officer at the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. The change also comes after a study linked the show’s season one premiere to an increase in suicide rates amongst 10-17 year-olds.
An update on 13 Reasons Why
— Netflix US (@netflix) July 16, 2019
Brian Yorkey, the show’s creator, later released a statement defending the original decision to portray Hannah’s suicide in such a graphic way saying, “Our creative intent in portraying the ugly, painful reality of suicide in such graphic detail in Season 1 was to tell the truth about the horror of such an act, and make sure that no one would ever wish to emulate it.”
A statement from our show creator Brian Yorkey. pic.twitter.com/J6XiD9LVkU
— 13 Reasons Why (@13ReasonsWhy) July 16, 2019
Netflix previously added violence disclaimers to the beginning of the episode that depicted Hannah’s suicide. They also displayed links to resources for those who may be struggling with depression and suicide, as well as PSA-style clips of the cast and producer Selena Gomez discussing topics such as bullying, depression, and suicidal ideation. Why Netflix hadn’t included any of this from the jump was anyone’s guess.
The show, which also included graphic depictions of sexual assault and discussions of school shootings, has already been renewed for a fourth season.