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Twitter Users Have Some Concerns About The New 'Heathers' Casting—And They Have A Point

Heathers was originally released in 1988. It was written by Daniel Waters and directed by Michael Lehmann and starred Winona Ryder, Christian Slater, and Shannen Doherty. The movie was about a clique of girls, all named Heather, and an outsider named Veronica Sawyer who gets involved with a boy named JD. He kills one of the Heathers with drain cleaner and enlists Veronica to forge a suicide note. This begins a crime spree for the two teenagers. In October of 2016, a television series based on the movie was announced, and soon-after, casting.

The first trailer for the show was released last Thursday...

However, with the ramp up of publicity comes renewed scrutiny over the casting. While all of the 'Heathers' were white in the original film, in the TV show, it's a veritable panoply of diversity with one overweight body-positive Heather, one genderqueer Heather, and one black Heather. While the diversity can be lauded, the heart of the criticism is that depicting underrepresented groups as villains may in the end be damaging. 

Many thought the decision to feature the cis, hetero, white girl as the one who takes her revenge on minority characters was problematic...

However, showrunner Jason Micaleff tried to mitigate some of the critique by telling EW...

"The main thing to really take away is I don’t view the Heathers as the villains. The three Heathers are incredibly powerful and ruling the school; they’re the people you would want to be. In the original film, the Heathers were the ones I always loved, and it’s the same with the series. The Heathers are the aspirational characters. [That the Heathers are the villains is] the underlying thesis of the small segment of people that have an issue with it. The villain is J.D. — and that’s the same in the movie and same in our show."

But this explanation still didn't hold water for some...

But some were here for Micaleff's explanation...

But most argued that there were many villains in the original film and that saying it's only JD misses the entire point...

Will the controversy damage the show in the ratings? Only time will tell.

H/T: Twitter, Deadline, EW