American Horror Story has been no stranger to controversy during its existence, never shying away from the taboo in order to tell unique stories within a genre where folks can literally say they’ve seen everything. But the show seems to drifting into a more realistic type of horror in the Cult season, with its election theme and the antics of the evil clown cult drawing upon phobias, current events, and brutality to create “horror.”
But in the aftermath of the massacre in Las Vegas that took 58 lives and wounded several hundred at an outdoor concert, the next episode of the series is hitting too close to reality and has many questioning if FX should delay the episode. According to Entertainment Weekly, the episode will open with a mass shooting event that doesn’t hold back on its gore:
[The] initial moments of the episode find a crowd of people under siege from a shooter while at a political rally. FX and 20th Century Fox declined to comment about the episode and whether it would be delayed.
The idea to delay the episode in consideration of what happened in Las Vegas makes sense, but it’s also what we’ve done time and time again in response to these events. As Jerrod Carmichael pointed out when his own series delayed an episode that focused on a mass shooting:
“A lot of times when things like this happen, and someone wants to talk about it in an outlet that’s not the news, people will say, ‘Too soon!’ But when is it not too soon? Unfortunately these things happen constantly, and it’s a thing that breaks all of our hearts.”
And while a meaningful discussion in the media is welcome away from the news, the issue here is how American Horror Story handles it within its plot. It isn’t addressing it in a way to highlight the issues behind gun violence, instead opting to use it as a shock device. Still, we’re seeing far worse online and in the news on a daily basis, with the threat of gun violence continuing without end. If FX were to delay the episode, when is the right time to air it? What changes next week?
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