Paramount Network is delaying its upcoming TV series reboot of the teen cult classic Heathers following the Parkland high school shooting in Florida.
The new cable network — formerly Spike TV — has issued the following statement:
“Paramount Network’s original series Heathers is a satirical comedy that takes creative risks in dealing with many of society’s most challenging subjects ranging from personal identity to race and socio-economic status to gun violence. While we stand firmly behind the show, in light of the recent tragic events in Florida and out of respect for the victims, their families and loved ones, we feel the right thing to do is delay the premiere until later this year.”
The original 1988 film told the story of two high school classmates who fall in love and exact revenge on bullies. The film’s romantic lead brings a gun to school, shoots blanks at his classmates, and the female lead kills a classmate by shooting him in the chest. The climax involves the male lead, revealed to be rather deranged, trying to blow up the school. It’s not clear how many of these original elements made their way into the new show.
Paramount has likewise canceled the show’s premiere screening in New York.
Previously, Heathers drew controversy for reimagining its trio of bullies as all from traditionally marginalized groups. The showrunner defended that move to EW last month.
While Paramount has announced the show as “delayed,” the move raises a question: If the contents of the show are not appropriate to air now, why would they be appropriate to air later?