Netflix removes depiction of suicide in ’13 Reasons Why’ season one finale

TechCrunch | 7/16/2019 | Staff
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Netflix has modified an episode of the controversial series ’13 Reasons Why’ two years after its original airing, citing sensitivity to the ‘ongoing debate’ that’s been occurring regarding the show’s depiction and characterization of teen suicide. In a statement provided to The Hollywood Reporter, the streaming explained why it removed a scene that depicted the suicide of main character Hannah (played by Katherine Langford) which lasted nearly three minutes, opting instead to have this take place entirely off-camera in the updated edit.

“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 wrote in the 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.”

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This scene was part of the original seasons one finale, but now skips the direct depiction and instead leads right into the reaction of Hannah’s parents to her death. Netflix also told THR that it will be actively monitoring and issuing take-down requests for pirated distribution of versions of the show that feature the unedited clip.

Showrunner Brian Yorkey also issued his own statement about the change separately, sharing this via Twitter in a Notes screenshot capture:

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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 bestselling book did before us. Our creative intent...
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