The TV reboot of dark ’80s teen classic Heathers, which was generating controversy before it had aired a single episode, has been scrapped entirely by the Paramount Network, who have chosen not to air it over concerns about school shootings in the US.
The black comedy, which presumably tackles themes of violence in schools much like the original movie did, was set to premiere on March 7 of this year, but was postponed after 17 people were killed in a high school shooting in Parkland, Florida.
In March of this year, Paramount’s parent company Viacom, which also runs Nickelodeon, Comedy Central, BET and MTV, sent all its networks dark for 17 minutes to honour the 17 victim of the Parkland school shooting.
Paramount executive Keith Cox told The Hollywood Reporter that in light of this and the current climate of violence in America, it would no longer be appropriate for them to air Heathers. He said:
“This is a high school show, we’re blowing up the school, there are guns in the school, it’s a satire and there are moments of teachers having guns. It’s hitting on so many hot topics. This company can’t be speaking out of both sides of its mouth, saying the youth movement is important for us and we’ve done all these wonderful things to support that and at the same time, we’re putting on a show that we’re not comfortable with. The combination of a high school show with these very dark moments didn’t feel right.”
Production on the 10-episode first season of Heathers is complete, and the show’s writers have started working on a second. There is still a chance that it might end up being shopped to another network, but for now at least, the show will not see the light of day.