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Heathers: A new spin on a classic cult movie

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Popcorn, blankets, your friends and a classic cult movie. No, I’m not talking about Mamma Mia, I’m talking about one of the greatest movies of all time, Heathers. For those of you who never had a childhood, Heathers is about an exclusive clique of girls, all named Heather, who outcast those who don’t meet their standards. Now this has been the plot to a 1980’s movie, and an off-Broadway musical, but recently there has been a new and fresh take on this classic that has definitely piqued my interest.

Now the older versions have had the classic group of white, thin, straight girls who run the school. No, I’m not promoting stereotypes, it’s just a common theme in many movies, including Heathers. The plot of Heathers encompasses three popular girls who outcast everyone whom they deem not worthy of their attention, except for a one Veronica Sawyer who, along with her rebellious love interest, JD, kills the the head of the Heathers as well as two boys spreading rumours about her.

The new version, however, has a “fat” or “body positive” Heather girl running the clique, with a racial minority Heather, and a genderqueer Heather. Essentially, in contrast to every Mean Girls-esque movie, the popular girls are part of minorities.

This has caused both outrage and intrigue from the fans of the movie and musical. But, my fellow Heather fans, shouldn’t we be asking what inspired this change in the characters? Heath Duke, a cast member, has said that the reason this was done was to prove “that everyone is at their core an asshole and concerned for themselves.”

Okay, that comment itself prepared for something a bit darker than the original movie, which is saying something. But, here is the big issue. This spin-off has minorities, many of whom are still fighting to survive in a discriminatory society, as the Heathers. So, here’s the shape the plot now takes. The minorities have gained power, are abusing it beyond belief, and now deserve to be killed.

The theme itself is quite reckless in a time where many marginalized people, or people who belong to minorities, do live in fear for their lives. Moreover, it perpetuates the idea that those who are considered conventional and who benefit from a system of privilege by society are supposedly under attack from minorities.

I mean, as a society, we’ve come really full circle with this show.

Like, “Hey, everybody! Let’s go back to killing minorities because we are horrible people.” Yeah, seems harsh, right?

Now, I get it. Many of you may be thinking, why are you reading so much into this?

Here’s why, the media influences our lives to a great extent whether you realize it or not. Imagine one day, Kylie Jenner comes out with fake lashes that gradually and permanently attach to your real lashes. Simply because she is so prominent in the media, people will start lining up in the streets for this new product, or be waiting by their laptops for the alert to go off.

Every single thing on the media will have an affect on the society in which it is in.

So, this show is now promoting is making sure that marginalized people never get any power or a voice, otherwise they should be killed. What exactly is the show trying to communicate to the audience, especially in a time where a lack of diversity in terms of political representation is an issue?

As someone who actually is part of a marginalized group, it is kind of irritating that when we are fighting to find a voice to represent us in the government and media that there are those who are portraying us as the targets of an assassination plot by a homicidal maniac for our “attitudes.”

Now, I get that the show may be trying to promote power to the people of minorities, that anyone can be the trashy, mean popular girl. But, the timing just isn’t right.

They should have waited till gaining equality was less of an issue, as now this idea sparks a lot of controversy from viewers and critics alike.

Now, most of this is simply me surmising what I can from a trailer and a couple of interviews, so there may be some harsher or worse things that I’ve yet to see on the actual show. So, let’s sit back and relax as we wait for the true controversies to arise from the pilot of the new show Heathers.

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