As reported by Pitchfork, plans for a TV series of some sort about the deadly Ghost Ship warehouse fire from 2016 have been canceled, following a backlash against writers Michael Chabon and Ayelet Waldman. The Ghost Ship was the name given to a popular DIY venue in Oakland, California, where 36 people were killed when a fire broke out. The building didn’t have sufficient fire extinguishers and infamously used a stack of wooden pallets as a makeshift staircase. Last summer, Ghost Ship founder Derick Almena and creative director Max Harris made plea deals that helped them both avoid prison sentences longer than 10 years, a decision that was criticized by the families of the victims at the time because of the way it made the victims’ lives seem “lessened,” but back in September, Harris was acquitted on all charges and Almena’s jury was deadlocked (meaning he’ll be retried in the future).
Basically, the fire and its aftermath are still ongoing issues, and people who knew the victims spent the last few days expressing their disappointment to Chabon and Waldman that the fire was being made into a TV show. In response, Waldman posted a brief Twitter thread explaining that the messages have convinced them to “reconsider telling the story of the Ghost Ship,” saying the appeals were “heartbreaking” and forced them to change their minds about developing the project. Instead, they will “leave the families and survivors to their grief and their loss, in the fervent hope that someday they find not just comfort but also a measure of justice.”