Ahead of the release of Season 3 of 13 Reasons Why, Gizmodo reports that Netflix has decided to edit out the graphic suicide scene from the first season of the show.
“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,” the streaming giant 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.”
According to Netflix, the company came to the decision to edit the scene — in which Hannah Baker takes her own life — at the advice of medical experts, including Dr. Christine Moutier, Chief Medical Officer at the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.
13 Reasons Why premiered in 2017 and is based on Jay Asher’s young adult novel, which deals with issues such as suicide, sexual assault, depression, and bullying. But it received criticism for its depiction of Baker’s death at the end of the show’s first season. Research published in the Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry only fueled this criticism — as The Inquisitr reported, it linked the release of the show to an increase in youth suicides in the month after it hit Netflix.
A statement from our show creator Brian Yorkey. pic.twitter.com/J6XiD9LVkU— 13 Reasons Why (@13ReasonsWhy) July 16, 2019
Outside of the popular Netflix show, media attention on suicide also appears to influence real-world suicides. Per CNN, PLOS ONE published a study that found a 10 percent spike in U.S. suicides in the four months following the death of famous comedian Robin Williams, who took his life in 2014.
“The results of this study should raise awareness that young people are particularly vulnerable to the media,” said Lisa Horowitz, author of the study.
“All disciplines, including the media, need to take good care to be constructive and thoughtful about topics that intersect with public health crises.”
13 Reasons Why creator Brian Yorkey claims that the goal of including Baker’s suicide depiction in the show was to “tell the truth” and capture the “horror” of the act in hopes that no one would ever want to emulate it. He claims that he doesn’t believe any one scene is more important than the show’s goal — to push people to take better care of each other — and claims that the editing of Baker’s suicide will help the show do the most good possible.
13 Reasons Why doesn’t have a release date for Season 3, but it’s expected to hit Netflix in the coming months.
If you or someone you know is in crisis, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255) or contact the Crisis Text Line by texting TALK to 741741. For readers outside the U.S., visit Suicide.org or Befrienders Worldwide for international resources you can use to find help.