Netflix's teen drama 13 Reasons Why immediately made waves upon its premiere back in 2017, and now the series has officially edited out one of the show's most controversial scenes. On July 15, Netflix released a statement announcing that the streaming service edited Hannah Baker's graphic suicide scene from the Season 1 finale following considerable backlash. As it stands now, Hannah's suicide scene in 13 Reasons Why was cut from the series after it had been streamable on Netflix for over two years.
The scene in question has been the source of intense controversy ever since it aired midway through the Season 1 finale on Netflix in March of 2017. In the original version of the episode, Hannah Baker is shown looking in a mirror before getting into a bathtub and slitting her wrists with a razor blade. The prolonged scene holds on Hannah for an extended period of time as she dies from the injuries, before her mother rushes into the bathroom to find her daughter's body. The graphic suicide depiction drew immediate backlash from viewers, as well as researchers who claimed the scene was linked to a spike in suicide-related web searches following its airing. Showrunner Brian Yorkey and psychiatrist Dr. Rebecca Hedrick refuted that study by arguing the scene actually encouraged at-risk youth to reach out for help.
Now, Netflix and Brian Yorkey have agreed to edit out Hannah's suicide scene from the show. The version of the scene that is now viewable on Netflix cuts directly from Hannah looking at herself in the mirror to Hannah's mom finding her body in the bathroom, completely forgoing the whole bathtub scene. Netflix announced this decision in a statement on Twitter, revealing that the network was encouraged to edit the scene by medical professionals:
Showrunner Brian Yorkey also issued a statement on the decision, stating the the scene was originally made to be so graphic in order to dissuade viewers from ever emulating it, but that he now agrees with Netflix's decision to cut the scene.
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. Our creative intent in portraying the ugly, painful reality of suicide in such graphic detail in Season 1 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 3, 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 third season of 13 Reasons Why will apparently be dropping on Netflix later this summer, according to Netflix's statement, although no release date has been announced yet.
If you or someone you know are experiencing suicidal thoughts, call 911, or call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline at 1-800-273-8255.