Ever since Netflix’s teen drama 13 Reasons Why premiered in 2017, it’s been accused of sensationalizing and glamorizing teen suicide. Nearly two years later, Netflix has opted to edit a graphic suicide scene from Season 1, Deadline reports.
The three-minute scene originally depicted the lead character Hannah taking a razor blade to her wrists. The show now cuts away to the aftermath of her death without depicting it. “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, adding that they took the advice of medical experts in editing the scene.
What’s confusing is why Netflix would remove the scene now, given that complaints against the show’s depiction of suicide have been rolling in for years. The Suicide Prevention Resource Center even has a page dedicated to the popular show, advising parents and teachers on how they can talk to kids about it. In 2018, a study from San Diego State University found that suicide-related Google searches spiked after the show, with queries like “how to commit suicide up 26 percent.” And in April, the Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry published a study linking the television show to a spike in suicide rates among teen boys, finding that in the month after the show’s release in 2017, suicide rates among boys aged 10 to 17 were the highest in the past five years.
13 Reasons Why is confirmed for a third season.
If you need help and would like to speak with someone, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-8255.