Streaming giant Netflix today announced that they will be editing a two-year-old suicide scene from the teen series ‘13 Reasons Why’ after consulting medical experts.
The highly controversial scene from season one shows the lead character Hannah Baker taking her own life. It created widespread uproar as concerned viewers worried about the possibility of copy cat suicides and similar real-life ramifications among teenagers.
In what some have dubbed a delayed response, Netflix has now decided to edit the scene in the run-up to season three of the show. The series, based on a 2007 book about a teenaged girl who leaves audio recordings behind after her suicide, began to air in 2017.
“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,” read Netflix’s statement, which was posted on Twitter.
“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 producers of ‘13 Reasons Why’ to edit the scene in which Hannah takes her own life from Season 1,” they wrote.
Responses to the decision on Twitter were divided.
“Its [sic] disrespectful not to show the gruesomeness, sadness and pain of the suicide. Its supposed to be upsetting and guttural, the show was incredible and devastating. Editing the scene will make it easier to watch and not show the realism and suffering of an event like this,” wrote Twitter user Aaron B.
“It’s a bit too late now...stop making the show. We can talk about mental health and suicide without dramatising and glorifying it,” wrote Kayla.
Another Twitter user called it “the stupidest and most delayed reaction ever” and wrote: “not only is that scene 2 years old but it now lives forever on the internet and has been meme’d to death. congrats on achieving... absolutely nothing.”
Several users wondered about the fate of several sexual assault scenes on the series, which have also been controversial, and some called on the show to be cancelled altogether.
However, a few users were more optimistic about the decision, writing: “Better late than never.”
Season three of ‘13 Reasons Why’ is set to release this summer, but no exact date has been announced.