KUALA LUMPUR, July 16 — Netflix has removed a graphic suicide scene from the first season of “13 Reasons Why”, two years after the teen drama premiered in 2017.
CNN reported a Netflix official as saying that protagonist Hannah Baker’s suicide no longer appeared on the streaming platform, ahead of the launch of season three of the show later this summer.
“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 of ‘13 Reasons Why’ to edit the scene in which Hannah takes her own life from Season 1,” Netflix said in a statement.
CNN reported that the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention and other organisations called the edit in the TV series based on Jay Asher’s young adult book of the same title a “positive change” that mitigated “the risk for the most vulnerable teenage viewers”.
An April study by the Nationwide Children’s Hospital reportedly found that suicide rates among US boys aged 10 to 17 surged in the month after “13 Reasons Why” debuted in March 2017.
Show creator Brian Yorkey said the decision to portray Baker’s suicide in graphic detail in the first season was to “tell the truth about the horror of such an act, and make sure no one would ever wish to emulate it”.
He said, however, that no one scene was more important than the life of the show and its message to better care for 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”.
“13 Reasons Why” tells the story of teenage girl Baker, played by Katherine Langford, who leaves behind 13 audio recordings on cassette tapes to explain why she killed herself.