Netflix revealed that the fourth season of the streaming original show “13 Reasons Why” will be the show’s final season, according to multiple reports.
The streaming service renewed the show for its fourth season even before the launch of the third season’s premiere, and the final season would feature the life of the main cast after graduating from high school, according to Hollywood Reporter. The show’s fourth season does not yet have a release date nor a count of how many episodes would be featured.
The decision to renew the series for a fourth season was determined back in August 2018 when the cast of the show signed a new contract for season three. The announcement of the fourth season also came alongside the release date of season three, reported Pop Culture.
However, despite a green light to renew the series for the fourth season, the reason that Netflix announced that the series would end following the completion of the fourth season might have something to do with the massive financial issues behind the show’s production, according to sources, Hollywood Reporter reported. 13 Reasons Why wasn’t cheap to produce, and given that Netflix would be more willing to offer more money to new original series rather than older ones—especially with the renegotiation of the cast for the new seasons—it wasn’t hard to see why Netflix would want to end the series before they go south. In addition, 13 Reasons Why is produced by a studio outside of Netflix, which meant that the streaming service had to pay additional licensing fees in order to keep the show on the streaming service server.
Backlash and Removal of Scenes from Season One
The streaming service also made a decision recently to remove the suicide scene at the end of season one, which was released two years prior to the release of the third season. It featured the death of one of the show’s most prominent characters, Hannah, who was also the person the show was based on, according to Hollywood Reporter.
According to a statement released by the show, which was posted on Twitter, it was a decision made with the advice of medical experts and was an agreement by both the streaming service and the show’s creator, Brian Yorkey.
A statement from our show creator Brian Yorkey. pic.twitter.com/J6XiD9LVkU
— 13 Reasons Why (@13ReasonsWhy) July 16, 2019
“We’ve heard from many young people that 13 Reasons Why encouraged them to start conversations about difficult issues like depression and suicide and get help—often for the first time,” the statement read. “As we prepare to launch Season 3 later this summer, we’ve been mindful about the ongoing debate around the show. So on the advice of medical experts, including Dr. Christine Moutlier, Chief Medical Officer at the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, 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 from Season 1.”
Yorkey also released his own statement reminding viewers that the decision and goal to make the show was to expose the realities of suicides, depressions, and instill a sense of hope to teens and people struggling from mental illness—that they were not unheard in their struggles.
“It was our hope, in making 13 Reasons Why into a television show, to tell a story that would help young viewers feel seen and heard, and encourage empathy in all who viewed it, much as the bestselling book did before us. Our creative intent in portraying the ugly, painful reality of suicide in such graphic detail in season one was to tell the truth about the horror of such an act and make sure no one would ever wish to emulate it,” Yorkey’s statement read.
Like Netflix’s statement, Yorkey wrote that medical authorities have expressed concerns about the scene which prompted both the streaming service and the series creator to re-edit the scene and delete it altogether.
“No scene is more important than the life of the show, and its message that we must take better care of each other. We believe this edit will help the show do the most good for the most people while mitigating any risk for especially vulnerable young viewers,” Yorkey’s statement read further.
The show had suffered backlashes from a number of different reasons, and even though some have applauded the streaming service’s decision to alter the scene at the end of the first season, people were still slamming the show for taking so long to delete the scene and continuing the show despite the complaints among other controversies.
13 Reasons Why was an adaptation of the book of the same name by Jay Asher, which revolved around Hannah Baker and the events that transpired after her death.