More than two years since it first aired, a graphic three-minute scene from Netflix’s 13 Reasons Why will be edited for content, THR reports. Though the series has sparked plenty of tough conversations about teen suicide since first debuting, it’s also drawn criticism for framing such intense content through a YA lens—our own Alex McLevy criticized the series for its “sense of affronted self-righteousness about the issue of suicide itself.”
The scene in question, which is no longer available in full on Netflix, depicts Katherine Langford’s Hannah committing suicide in a bathtub by slashing her wrist, then screaming in anguish before her mother finds her lifeless body. The scene as it currently exists on Netflix no longer features the actual act; instead, it cuts from Hannah in the bathroom to her parents reacting to her death.
In a statement, Netflix says it made the edits on the advice of medical experts. “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,” it reads. “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.”
Yorkey offered a statement of his own, clarifying why the scene was originally written and offering context as to why he agreed to the re-edit. “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,” he said. “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.”
The news of the edit follows a study published earlier this year in the Journal Of The American Academy Of Child And Adolescent Psychiatry, which noted a nearly 29% increase in teen suicides in the United States in April of 2017, the month after the premiere of 13 Reasons Why. That study, it should be noted, has been heavily disputed, by both the show’s creators and other health organizations.
13 Reasons Why’s third season is slated to drop sometime this summer.