While American Horror Story isn't usually too concerned with sheltering audiences from scenes of violence, showrunner Ryan Murphy has decided to make an exception this season. In the wake of last week's Las Vegas tragedy, Murphy has decided to re-edit a scene that would've featured a graphic mass shooting in the opening of next week's new episode of Cult.
The season has already been brimming with brutality, most often politically charged in the election-centric narrative arc, but Murphy said he realizes that showing such a sequence so soon after the Vegas shooting would be insensitive to those suffering from the real-life incident.
He told crowds at Saturday's New Yorker Festival (via Entertainment Weekly), "I just made the decision that I'm going to have all of that violence be shown for the most part off camera."
Murphy added that he didn't feel forced or obligated to make the alteration, but was rather compelled by the point of view of the victims and their loved ones.
"I believe I have the right to air it, but I also believe in victims' rights, and 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," he explained. "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."
FX has released an official statement on the decision to edit the episode on Monday, saying: "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 tomorrow night's episode (Tuesday, Oct. 10 10/9c). 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."
The statement added that only the edited version will air on FX's linear channel, but the unedited version will be available on VOD, FXNOW and FX+.
American Horror Story: Cult airs Tuesdays at 10/9c on FX.