In a statement Wednesday night, the network explained that because the first season touches on the topic of gun violence, it has postponed the Heathers premiere until later this year. The network says it still stands behind the show and its message, but it feels “the right thing to do” is push the premiere date back out of respect for the 17 people who were killed.
The series is a reimagination of the popular 1988 movie with the same title. In the original, Winona Ryder sheds her good-girl image by teaming up with a bad-boy outcast to kill all the popular girls in school. At the time the original movie came out, school shootings weren’t part of the national consciousness at all. Now, with a TV reboot trying to capitalize on the nostalgia factor while updating for 2018 with a genderqueer character, a Black lesbian character, and a plus-size character running the school instead of croquet-playing WASPS—it’s proving more tricky than it used to be to make light of teen violence.
“Paramount Network’s original series Heathers is a satirical comedy that takes creative risks in dealing with many of society’s most challenging subjects,” Paramount wrote. “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 new release date has yet to be announced.