Netflix Inc. has removed a suicide scene from an episode of the first season of its popular teen drama entitled "13 Reasons Why" following a debate over whether the broadcast increased the risk of suicide among adolescents.
Based on the book of the same name, "13 Reasons Why" is about a depressed high school student who commits suicide and sends a tape to a classmate about why she did it and who she blames.
In the last episode of the first season – we tell the story in flashback – we see protagonist Hannah slicing her wrists in the bathtub.
A Netflix spokeswoman declined to comment, but the company tweeted early Tuesday that, in the opinion of medical experts, she had decided to change the scene of the episode. The show is produced by Paramount Television of Viacom Inc., which supported the decision to remove the scene, said a person close to the show.
"13 Reasons Why" has been hailed by critics but criticized by health advocates and some media watchdogs who fear this will glorify suicide. The show, which began in March 2017, is expected to begin its third season this year.
A study funded by the National Institutes of Health suggested that "13 reasons why" was a factor in the increase in the number of suicides among adolescents. The study found that the suicide rate among people aged 10 to 17 had risen by nearly a third in April 2017, the month following the launch of the show on Netflix. Some school officials issued warnings and advice to parents about the show.
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At the time of the study, a spokesman for Netflix said, "This is a topic of utmost importance and we have worked hard to ensure that we address this sensitive issue responsibly."
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