One good reason why teen suicide scene deleted

| REUTERS 17 Jul 2019

Netflix is removing a controversial graphic scene from its popular young adult drama, 13 Reasons Why, which depicts a youth suicide, following advice from medical experts.

The show, based on a book of the same name, depicts a suicide of the protagonist in the last episode of season one, including a scene of high school girl Hannah Baker - played by Katherine Langford - slitting her wrists in a bathtub.

Netflix said that on the advice of medical experts, "we've decided with the creator Brian Yorkey and the producers of 13 Reasons Why to edit the scene in which Hannah takes her own life."

While critically acclaimed, the show has drawn criticism from groups, including the Parents Television Council, which claim the show glorifies teen suicide.

The move to edit the scene drew praise from the council, which has also lobbied Netflix to drop the show entirely.

"Netflix has finally acknowledged the harmful impact that explicit content, such as the graphic suicide scene in 13 Reasons Why, is capable of inflicting on children," the council said.

Suicides by young Americans jumped by nearly a third in the month following the 2017 streaming debut of the series, as a US National Institutes of Health-supported study found a 28.9 percent rise in suicide rates among US youth aged 10-17 in April 2017.

It said there was an additional estimated 195 suicide deaths in that age bracket from April to December 2017.

The researchers said the study had limitations, and that they could not make a direct "causal link" between 13 Reasons Why and the rise in suicide rates, or rule out other factors.

The show tells the story of a teen who leaves behind a series of 13 tapes describing why she decided to kill herself. The graphic scene caused a backlash among parents and health professionals, prompting Netflix in 2017 to put up additional viewer warning cards and direct viewers to support groups.

A second season of 13 Reasons Why was released in May 2018, and a third season has been ordered by Netflix.

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