13 Reasons Why: Controversial Suicide Scene is Edited Before the Release of Season 3
Netflix deletes controversial suicide scene in 13 Reasons Why two years after its release.
Since its release in March 2017, the series has been criticized because of the way it depicts suicide. In fact, there is a study funded by National Institute of Health, in the Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry that links increase in teen suicides to the show. The study claims there were 200 more than expected deaths by suicide following the 9 month period following the release of the show. In addition, more deaths by suicide occured in April 2017 than any other April in the last 9 years.
It should be noted that there are studies with conflicting results regarding the relationship between the show and suicide statistics and none of them are conclusive. Nevertheless, Netflix says that it is taking advice from medical experts concerned with the potential negative effects of the series, including Chief Medical Officer at the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, Dr. Christine Moutier. Netflix decided with the creator of the series, Brian Yorkey, to edit the scene in which the main character Hannah takes her life in Season 1.
13 Reasons Why continues to be controversial. On one hand, it seems to start a nationwide conversation on suicide which is desperately needed. On the other hand, there is potential danger to teenagers who has suicidal tendencies. Debate regarding whether the Netflix series has positive or negative effect on the problem of teenage suicide still continues.
What must be done if it is definitely shown that the series is linked with significant increase in teen suicide? Should Netflix or the creator of the series be really held responsible? Should we think that this is just an unfortunate consequence that no one is responsible of? These are hard ethical questions with no definite answer. What seems obvious is that it is better that Netflix is doing something about adressing the problem, rather than shrugging shoulders and saying "though luck".