MINNEAPOLIS — The next season of the controversial series "13 Reasons Why" drops on Netflix later this summer. In light of that, Netflix says they cut out a very graphic suicide scene from Season One.
Season One of "13 Reasons Why" came out two years ago. Is it too little too late?
"When Season One launched, nobody was prepared for it," Dr. Dan Reidenberg said Tuesday. Reidenberg is the executive director of Suicide Awareness Voices of Education (S.A.V.E) and has stayed close to the series.
"I was brought in as a consultant prior to the release of Season One but after it was already completed," Reidenberg explained. "There wasn't anything I could do to change that. What I did was create a set of talking points that we released in concert with Netflix. They knew about it, we released those the evening before the season was launched."
Reidenberg says the company's decision to delete the graphic scene in which the main character, Hannah Baker takes her own life, is one that moves the conversation in the right direction.
"I'm really glad Netflix took this step to remove this one scene from Season One," Reidenberg said. "It was really problematic and it has been problematic for a couple of years. It doesn't however, take away from the really troubling things that happened in Season One that have continued to linger in people's minds."
That's precisely why Jenny Landon, the founder of "Growing Out of Darkness" doesn't let her 15 year old daughter watch the show.
"The concern that I had was not just the depiction of Hannah's suicide but there were other scenes I felt like were too vivid," Landon said. "Too emotionally triggering for our young people to watch."
Her daughter, Kaeli Landon agrees. As someone who attempted to take her own life, she says the existence of such a show can go both ways. She knows that, even without knowing the details of the show.
"It can help raise awareness for [suicide prevention] and put ideas in people's heads like 'hey, if you see someone struggling, call help,' but it can also put other ideas in people's heads like, 'hey, this can draw attention towards me,'" Kaeli said. "'If I died, maybe I can put videos out and have people think about why I died.'"
As for those asking why is Netflix doing this now, Reidenberg says it's the company's way of attempting to minimize harm.
"What Netflix does know is that any time they launch a new episode or new season, there's a tremendous amount of binge watching of the prior series and season," he said. "So they knew this was going to happen and this is their way of trying to protect youth from having to see that particular scene."