When Ryan Murphy announced that season seven of American Horror Story would focus on the 2016 election, fans justifiably reacted with a mix of intrigue and a healthy doze of skepticism — given that many of us would sooner forget the chain of events that resulted in Donald Trump becoming president. But fear not, because at an industry event last week Murphy reassured us that — as with past seasons — the upcoming season would be allegorical, explicitly saying: “You will not see Trump and Clinton as characters on the show.” Thank God!
Well, that was last week, because this week when asked by E! News whether or not Clinton and Trump had been cast yet, Murphy revealed the following:
“No, not yet. We’re halfway through the writing and not yet. But it’s really, really fun. It starts on election night is all I’ll say… It’s very scary that night for many people. It’s fun, you will like it. It’s really a season that will have a lot of people interested and I think there’s something for everybody in that season.”
However Murphy makes it unequivocally clear that the candidates will not be appearing in the capacity of lead roles, elaborating, “I think people literally think Sarah Paulson is playing Hillary Clinton, and I wanted to clarify that that is not true.” After all, he has said that he thinks Paulson is more of Kellyanne Conway type, anyway.
Still, even with the inclusion of Clinton and Trump, Murphy maintains that the season is going to be strictly allegorical:
Horror Story is always about allegory, so the election is allegory. It’s our jumping off point. It is about the election we just went through and what happened on that night and the fallout of that night, which to many people, from all sides of the camps is a horror story. And you know, that show is always so fun when it’s about the zeitgeist and what we’re doing now.”
Given that Trump has only been president for just over a month and his time in office has already yielded more dramatic twists than any scripted drama, it will be interesting to see if and how he can manage to make fiction any stranger than truth.