Netflix Edits Graphic '13 Reasons Why' Suicide Scene After Controversy
Netflix edited a graphic suicide scene from Season 1 of 13 Reasons Why, citing advice from medical experts.
Hannah (Katherine Langford) slits her wrist and dies by suicide in a bathtub in the scene, which can no longer be viewed on the service. Netflix has removed the footage of Hannah and instead shows Hannah looking at herself in the mirror and her parents' reaction to her death.
"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," Netflix said in a statement.
"As we prepare to launch Season 3 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 of 13 Reasons Why to edit the scene in which Hannah takes her own life in Season 1."
An update on 13 Reasons Why
— Netflix US (@netflix) July 16, 2019
A study, published in April inside the Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, linked 13 Reasons Why to a spike in youth suicides in recent years.
The show's debut in March 2017 the study said, coincided with a nearly 29 percent increase in suicide rates among young people between the ages of 10 and 17.
A new study suggests the series may heighten suicide risk among young viewers, reigniting the debate over its influence.
Netflix said the data conflicts with a University of Pennsylvania study published in Social Science in Medicine in April that found that Season 2 had both harmful and helpful effects on viewers. The study said those who had viewed the entire second season were more likely to express interest in helping a suicidal person.
The studies align with research from the National Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention, the World Health Organization and suicide.org that explain how media depictions can fuel suicide rates in young people.
By Wade Sheridan
Originally published in UPI Entertainment News.