Ghost Ship Fire TV Show Put On Hold After Protest

A few days ago, word got out that a television show based on the Ghost Ship warehouse fire was in development from the husband-and-wife team Michael Chabon and Ayelet Waldman. Production on the show hadn’t gone very far — it was only floated as an idea as part of a multi-year deal with CBS Television Studios — but Waldman and Chabon have put the project on hold after backlash over the fictionalization of a fire that killed 36 people and resulted in trials and lawsuits.

As Pitchfork points out. Waldman took to Twitter yesterday to say that they would no longer pursue the show as a potential project. “We believe in the power of art, and specifically of this medium, to effect change, and had hoped to harness that power not just on behalf of the victims of tragedy at the Ghost Ship, but also to help to call to account those who most bear responsibility for it,” Waldman wrote in her statement, continuing:

Over the past few days, however, we’ve heard from parents of the victims, from friends and survivors, and from conscientious members of the community, appealing to us to reconsider telling the story of the Ghost Ship — because it’s too soon, because the wounds are too deep and too recent and the pain of reliving the experience would be too great. These appeals have been heartbreaking to hear, and they have changed our minds.

We believe that there is a conversation to be had about the propriety of telling the story of the Ghost Ship, and about the identity and moral responsibility of those who tell it, but clearly it’s not a conversation that can be conducted without causing further pain to the living victims of this tragedy. At this time, therefore, we will not be proceeding, and will do our part to 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.

Tags: Ghost Ship