American Horror Story: Cult has recut an upcoming mass shooting sequence in the wake of the Las Vegas massacre on Oct. 1, which left 59 dead and more than 500 wounded.
As first revealed during a panel at Saturday’s New Yorker Festival, creator Ryan Murphy has chosen to re-edit the Oct. 10 episode, “Mid-Western Assassin,” which features an eerily similar tragedy. While the shooting has not been entirely cut from the installment, the scene is reportedly less graphic following new edits, with most of the violence taking place off-screen.
“I believe I have the right to air it, but I also believe in victims’ rights,” Murphy said during the conversation. “I believe that now is probably 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 or make them feel upset. So our decision was to re-edit it, and I felt that that was the right move.”
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UPDATE: FX has released the following statement confirming that the episode will be tweaked: “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 [this week]’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. Only the edited version of the episode will air on the FX linear channel, while the unedited version of the episode will be available on the VOD platform of your cable, satellite or telco provider, as well as on the FX Networks non-linear platforms, FXNOW and FX+.”
AHS: Cult is the latest series to be impacted by a senseless act of violence. Back in July, NBC postponed an episode of The Carmichael Show after a gunman opened fire at an Alexandria, Va., baseball field and wounded four people, including U.S. Rep. Steve Scalise. In 2016, TNT delayed the Season 3 premiere of The Last Ship in the wake of the Pulse nightclub tragedy, while USA Network (repeatedly) delayed the launch of sniper drama Shooter after multiple mass shooting incidents.