Why Netflix Is Editing Controversial 13 Reasons Why Suicide Scene Ahead of Season 3

After multiple studies, the streamer is changing how viewers see Hannah Baker's death

By Chris Harnick Jul 16, 2019 12:52 PMTags
13 Reasons WhyNetflix

Netflix is doing something it's rarely done before and editing not just any show, but 13 Reasons Why. The streamer announced it is going back into season one and removing the controversial Hannah Baker (Katherine Langford) suicide scene.

"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 released on the show's official Twitter." 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 of 13 Reasons Why to edit the scene in which Hannah takes her own life from season one."

"13 Reasons Why" Stars Reflect on Katherine Langford's Exit

Netflix's 13 Reasons Why has been a hot topic of conversation every time a new season drops. The series, which is based on the book of the same name, started out about Hannah Baker and her suicide. In the first season, she left 13 tapes—her reasons why she took her own life—to be passed around to her classmates.

"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 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," Yorkey said in a statement. "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."

"13 Reasons Why" Stars Talk New Netflix Series

The AFSP has a dedicated discussion guide to the Netflix series that's been the subject of numerous studies. Netflix also launched 13ReasonsWhy.info, and a 13 Reasons Why: Beyond the Reasons series on Netflix to help viewers understand the material and get help if needed.

"Marking one week since 13 Reasons Why dropped on Netflix, and the response has been so overwhelming. Thank you to everyone who has watched and responded to the show so far. This is a story I feel affects so many people, and I'm proud we were able to tell it in the way that we did," series star Langford posted on Instagram after the show was out for a week. "Even though this is a show/there for entertainment, if at any point you or someone you know needs help, please go to 13ReasonsWhy.info for resources and information. Additionally, if you've just finished the season 13 Reasons Why: Beyond the Reasons, is available on Netflix also. Please know that you are never alone, and that there are places to go and people who care."

13 Reasons Why season three, which Langford will not be a part of, does not have a premiere date yet.

If you or someone you know needs help, call 988 to reach the Suicide and Crisis Lifeline. You can also call the network, previously known as the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, at 800-273-8255, text HOME to 741741 or visit SpeakingOfSuicide.com/resources for additional resources.