Netflix appears to have finally caved in after receiving blowback over a scene in its 2017 series “13 Reasons Why.” The New York Post reports that the streamer is editing the infamous suicide scene.
In a statement released this week, Netflix 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 — often for the first time. As we prepare to launch season three later this summer, we’ve been mindful about the ongoing debate around the show. 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 one.”
The Post adds: “The uncut, almost 3-minute-long scene originally aired during the finale of the 13-episode series. In it, Hannah (Katherine Langford) is shown listless in her bathtub, crying and taking a razor blade to her wrist. Focusing on her face, the audience sees Hannah shrieking in pain and gasping for air before she’s shown slumping into the blood-red water. Finally, her mother (Kate Walsh) discovers her daughter’s lifeless body.”
Despite running with a warning about “graphic depictions of violence and suicide,” the episode and the show became a lightning rod for controversy.
“Following the first season’s controversial run, many psychologists and suicide advocacy groups sounded the alarm over the series’ triggering content,” The Post reports. “Parents slammed the show for ‘romanticizing’ suicide, some even grieving their own children — citing the show as inspiration for their suicides. Earlier this year, researchers released a report pointing to a rise in teen suicide following the show’s debut.”
The Post reports that the updated scene is much more tame, “with Hannah taking a long look at herself in the mirror before cutting to her devastated parents, apparently just after having discovered their daughter’s death. All depictions of the act of suicide have been wiped.”