Netflix's 13 Reasons Why made headlines when it debuted on the streaming service more than two years ago, largely in part due to a graphic suicide scene that aired midway through the season. The difficult scene stirred a lot of controversy and now, ahead of the show's return for a third season, Netflix is editing the scene.
Netflix shared a statement on Twitter on Monday evening, announcing the update to the series and noting that they are aware of the ongoing debate around the show, ultimately deciding to edit the scene. The tweet also included a link for suicide prevention resources.
An update on 13 Reasons WhyJuly 16, 2019
"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 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."
The original scene in question depicted the series' breakout star Katherine Langford's Hannah as she first, took stock of her life in a mirror before being shown sitting in a bathtub, tears on her face, before taking a razor blade to her wrist. In the nearly three-minute scene, Hannah screams in pain as blood pours from the long wound. The scene continues by showing Hannah struggle to breathe and then, later, shows her mother (played by Kate Walsh) finding her lifeless body in the tub. The entire scene features a voiceover of Dylan (played by Derek Luke) telling the school's guidance counselor about Hannah's death.
The new scene -- which is what viewers will now find in the series -- simply shows Hannah looking at herself the mirror before cutting to her parents' reaction to her death. The actual act is no longer anywhere in the episode and, according to The Hollywood Reporter, Netflix will be monitoring for any pirated clips featuring the original scene and will issue take-downs as needed. The edited scene is intended to address concerns about the graphic nature of the original scene while still maintaining the emotional reality of Hannah’s death.
"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," showrunner Brian Yorkey said in a statement. "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."