Netflix Inc. 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 company said on its Twitter account early on Tuesday.
The show, based on a book of the same name, depicts a suicide of the protagonist in the last episode of season 1, including a scene of the youth Hannah slitting her wrists in a bathtub.
A Netflix representative could not be immediately reached for comment early on Tuesday.
The company said on Twitter 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 (PTC), which claim the show glorifies teen suicide.
The move to edit the scene drew praise from PTC 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.”
Suicides by young Americans rose by almost a third in the month following the 2017 streaming debut of the popular Netflix television series, a U.S. study found.
The National Institutes of Health-supported (NIH) study found a 28.9 percent increase in suicide rates among U.S. youth ages 10-17 in April 2017. It said there was an additional estimated 195 suicide deaths in that age bracket from April to December 2017, versus expectations based on past data.
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 take her life.
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.