After last week’s tragic shooting in Las Vegas, FX made the decision to air an edited version of Tuesday night’s episode of American Horror Story: Cult, which initially included a graphic segment depicting a mass shooting.
Cult’s co-creator and show runner, Ryan Murphy, addressed the episode, which was shot in September, at a New Yorker festival panel on Saturday. Of the violence, he said, “Of course it was graphic, the whole point of the piece was to be an obvious anti-gun warning about society.” Upon making the decision to recut the episode, he mused “Probably now is not the week to have something explosive or incendiary in the culture because someone who was affected might watch that and it could trigger something.”
Ryan added that much of his reasoning for the edits was to be considerate of the victims of the shooting and their families, pointing out “Nobody talks about victims’ rights — it’s a weird sort of emotional discussion that’s never bridged.” On Monday, FX released a statement about the episode:
”In light of the tragedy last week in Las Vegas, Ryan Murphy and the producers of American Horror Story: Cult have chosen to make substantial edits to the opening scene of [Tuesday] night’s episode. This opening, which was filmed two months ago and which portrays an occurrence of gun violence that has sadly become all too common in our country, contains a sequence that some viewers might find traumatic.”
FX did add that the unedited version of the episode will be available for viewing on VOD and streaming services, including its FXNOW app.
For a television maestro whose programs seem to relay a lot on violent acts (OJ, Versace and every other episode of AHS), I think Ryan made the right decision in making the edits. It just seems a little too soon. Well played, Mr. Murphy.
Photos: Frank Ockenfels/FX, Getty Images, WENN.com