Netflix Removed the Controversial Suicide Scene from Season One of '13 Reasons Why'
The scene that includes Hannah's death is now a lot less graphic.
Netflix deleted part of the final scene of 13 Reasons Why Season 1, following controversy over the way it depicts suicide.
The episode now cuts directly when the main character Hannah contemplates suicide to her parents' reaction to her death. Netflix will also actively work to take down any clips of the deleted footage that may pop up around the internet, per The Hollywood Reporter. (Related: What Everyone Needs to Know About the Rising U.S. Suicide Rates)
A statement on the Netflix Twitter account explains the decision to drop the scene. "As we prepare to launch Season 3 later this summer, we've been mindful about the ongoing debate around the show," it reads. "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 of 13 Reasons Why to edit the scene in which Hannah takes her own life from Season 1."
Yorkey made his own statement, which was posted to the 13 Reasons Why Twitter account. "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," he wrote. "But as we ready to launch Season 3, we have heard concerns about the scene from Dr. Christine Moutier at the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention and others, and have agreed with Netflix to re-edit it. No one scene is more important than the life of the show, and its message that we must take better care of each other." (Related: Suicide Rates Are Rising In Almost Every State, According to the CDC)
The show has remained controversial since its premiere, with critics arguing that it may encourage at-risk viewers to commit suicide. Proponents of the show, including producer Selena Gomez, argued that it dealt with Hannah's suicide in a way that would spark an important conversation.
The debate resurfaced in the media this year with a study published in Journal of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry suggesting that the suicide rate among 10- to 17-year-olds increased immediately following the show's debut. (Related: Lady Gaga Co-Wrote a Powerful Op-Ed On Suicide)
Mental health experts have pointed to the portrayal of Hannah's death as especially problematic, but the controversy hasn't halted now that it's been deleted. Yorkey's statement has opened up a new conversation on Twitter as to whether the scene was more likely to help or hurt viewers, and whether including a trigger warning with the episode should suffice.
If you are struggling with thoughts of suicide, you can contact Crisis Text Line by texting "START" to 741-741 or call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255. For more information on suicide prevention and awareness, visit the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.