Ryan Murphy shocked a few people and made many more groan when he said the next season of American Horror Story would deal with the 2016 election. His comments on Watch What Happens Live were a departure from his strategy for season six’s theme — something that worked to a certain extent and made for a different season of the show — but now it seems he’s working on clarifying what he meant and how the election will play a role.
“The themes of ‘American Horror Story’ have always been allegories,” he said, while accepting his award for Television Showmanship of the Year. “You will not see [Donald] Trump and [Hillary] Clinton as characters on the show.”
“Watch What Happens Live” is known for serving its guests plenty of booze, which Murphy blames for the slight misdirect. “They gave me three martinis in 20 minutes! That’s not good.”
Of course, on stage Friday at the Beverly Hilton, Murphy couldn’t help but make another joke, after “The People vs. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story” star Sarah Paulson handed him the award. As she stood nearby, he quipped, “Now as I look over at Sarah Paulson, I think of Kellyanne Conway. I don’t know! I might be rewriting!”
So it’s not going to be a direct adaptation of the election, but the influence will still be felt. According to Murphy’s chat with The Hollywood Reporter, the next season is aiming to give everybody a slice and keep away from just expressing the typical solo point of view:
American Horror Story is going to be about the election that we just went through. And what I’m interested in doing is not just the obvious, single-minded point of view but rather express all sides of that equation. What needs to happen in our country now is for people to listen to each other – we may not always agree with each other and we may be horrified by what the other side is doing but we have to move toward understanding. So that’s one example of what I’m going to do. And then all of the stuff that I’m developing now is going to be about illuminating and highlighting people who don’t have a voice in our culture — people who are ignored by the current administration and who are afraid and feel terrorized that their lives are going to be taken away. I’m interested not just in writing about those people but also in using my financial means to give back to them as well.
It’s still exhausting to hear that yet another property wants to deal with Donald Trump and the election of 2016, even if it is not a direct interpretation of events. Murphy definitely seems to have some lofty goals for the next season, though. More than just slapping wigs on people and forcing them to play like they’re on SNL.