After more than two years of denying that the graphic suicide in the first season of 13 Reasons Why could put vulnerable young viewers at increased risk for self-harm, Netflix and the show's creators have finally removed the controversial scene.
Now instead of seeing the protagonist, Hannah Baker, carry out her suicide in gory detail, the viewer watches as she cries prior to her attempt. The next time we see Hannah, her mother is standing over her body, expressing both panic and agony. Gone from the series is how Hannah harms herself, and her body remains largely out of sight.
The decision to delete the method and visual aftermath was the right call, even if critics argue that it's a form of censorship or a way to sanitize a previously gut-wrenching scene. It remains a devastating portrayal while avoiding details that researchers know, based on studies of media coverage, can negatively influence those at risk of suicidal thinking and behavior. That includes depicting the method with haunting specificity, which may lead to copycat deaths and can have the unintended effect of glorifying the act of suicide. Read more...More about Mental Health, Suicide, 13 Reasons Why, Social Good, and Health