Netflix Announces It Will Remove The Suicide Scene From 13 Reasons Why

'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'

13 Reasons Why

by Emma Dodds |
Updated on

13 Reasons Why swept the nation when it was first released on Netflix in March 2017, telling the story of Hannah Baker (played by Katherine Langford) who takes her own life and the subsequent events.

The series, based on the 2007 novel of the same name by Jay Asher, was praised by many for its 'realistic' portrayal of the issues that many teenagers face, but faced some criticism for showing Hannah's suicide in the first season's final episode.

Now, Netflix has announced that it will be removing that scene from the episode, releasing a statement to confirm the update along with a link to information on how to speak to someone.

Dylan Minnette as Clay Jensen in 13 Reasons Why
©Dylan Minnette as Clay Jensen © Netflix

The statement read, '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.'

Show creator Brian Yorkey echoed the sentiment, releasing a separate statement which read, '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 best-selling book did before us.

'Our 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.'

This comes after a study was published in November 2018 by the University of Michigan that found 'a significant proportion of suicidal teens treated in a psychiatric emergency department said that watching it had increased their suicide risk.'

Lead author Victor Hong, M.D. said, "Our study doesn’t confirm that the show is increasing suicide risk, but it confirms that we should definitely be concerned about its impact on impressionable and vulnerable youth.

"Few believe this type of media exposure will take kids who are not depressed and make them suicidal. The concern is about how this may negatively impact youth who are already teetering on the edge."

If you want to talk to someone about your mental health, call Samaritans on 116 123, or you can email jo@samaritans.org.

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