AceShowbiz - Two years after "13 Reasons Why" premiered on Netflix, the streaming giant has now taken an action regarding the controversy surrounding its graphic suicide scene. It arrives in the wake of reports that the show contributed to increasing the risk of teen suicide.
"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, much as the bestselling book did before us," Netflix said in a statement on Monday, July 15. "ur creative intent in portraying the ugly, painful reality of suicide in such graphic detail in season one was to tell the truth about the horror of such an act, and make sure no one would ever wish to emulate it."
"But as we ready to launch season three, 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. 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 statement continued.
After Netflix made public its decision to alter the scene, the American Association of Suicidology, the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, the American School Counselor Association, Stanford’s Dr. Helen Hsu, Mental Health America, Cedars-Sinai's Dr. Rebecca Hedrick and The Trevor Project, released a joint statement regarding the new edit. "We support the decision to edit the scene in which Hannah takes her own life from '13 Reasons Why'. There has been much debate about the series in the medical community. But this positive change will ensure that '13 Reasons Why' continues to encourage open conversation about mental health and suicide prevention - while also mitigating the risk for the most vulnerable teenage viewers," the statement read.
In the controversial scene, which was featured in the finale of the show's season 1, Hannah Baker (Katherine Langford) was seen starring at her own reflection in the mirror. She was later slitting her wrists before bleeding out in a bathtub. The new version now cuts to her parents' reaction in a later scene.
Prior to the revision, many took to social media to criticize the show for the graphic scene. A number of activists and health professionals urged the network to edit it out as they voiced their concerns over what the scene might contribute to copycat suicides among teens. Netflix CEO Reed Hastings defended the show at the time, saying, "It is controversial, but nobody has to watch it."