American Horror Story: Cult, like the other anthology installments before it, doesn't shy away from shocking and oftentimes violent imagery. But creator Ryan Murphy decided to reedit an upcoming episode in the aftermath of last Sunday's Las Vegas shooting, because the episode itself also featured a mass shooting incident.
In a New Yorker Festival panel, Murphy shared that the episode had been filmed in September, and included graphic imagery of a mass shooting. The reedit still included the shooting, but as Murphy put it, "I just made the decision that I'm going to have all of that violence be shown for the most part off-camera."
The original sequence was graphic, which Murphy argued was "the whole point of the piece...to be an obvious anti-gun warning about society."
This isn't the first piece of pop culture that's been reconsidered in the aftermath of the Vegas shooting; Netflix pulled its New York Comic Con panel (held this past weekend) for its brutally violent Marvel adaptation The Punisher. Murphy acknowledged that "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."
He also added, "Nobody ever talks about victims' rights. That's sort of a weird emotional discussion that's never bridged. But I felt great sympathy for people who were affected, certainly, and family members and loved ones and people who are upset about the way the world is."