Two years after “13 Reasons Why” premiered on Netflix, the streaming platform has decided to edit out a disturbing suicide scene from the teen drama series.
According to Netflix, in a statement released to Twitter on Monday, they made the decision after consulting a medical expert, and they made the edit with full agreement and support from the show’s creator, Brian Yorkey.
“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 — often for the first time. As we prepare to launch Season 3 later this summer, we’ve been mindful about the ongoing debate around the show,” Netflix said in their statement.
“So on the advice of medical experts, including Dr. Christine Moutier, chief medical officer at the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, we’ve decided with creator Brian Yorkey and the producers to edit the scene in which Hannah takes her own life from Season 1,” they explained.
The show captioned the statement, “An update on ’13 Reasons Why’. If you or someone you know needs help finding crisis resources please visit http://13reasonswhy.info.”
The scene in question depicted the graphic and upsetting suicide of Katherine Langford’s character, Hannah, which served as the catalyst for the plot of the story. The lengthy scene, in which the teenage character kills herself in a bathtub, has been entirely removed, leaving only the ensuing scene in which her parents find her body after the fact.
Shortly after Netflix announced the news, Yorkey shared his own statement expressing support for the decision and explaining the intent behind the disturbing scene in the context of the story.
“It was our hope, in making ’13 Reasons Why’ into a television show, to tell a story that would help young viewers feel seen and heard and encourage empathy in all who viewed it,” Yorkey shared. “Much as the bestselling book did before us.”
“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 no one would ever wish to emulate it,” Yorkey added. “But as we ready to launch Season 3, we have heard concerns about the scene… and have agreed with Netflix to re-edit it.”
“No one scene is more important to the life of the show, and its message that we must take better care of each other,” he concluded. “We believe this edit will help the show do the most good for the most people while mitigating any risk for especially vulnerable young viewers.”
The show premiered in March 2017, and the second season debuted in May 2018, with a warning before each episode. Netflix also created a website aimed at providing support and informational resources for young viewers.
The third season of “13 Reasons Why” is expected to hit Netflix later this year.
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