In the six years that it’s been on the air, FX’s American Horror Story has never been shy about reveling in the display of graphic violence, nor should it be. After all, AHS is rated TV-MA for a reason.
That said, EW reports that AHS co-creator Ryan Murphy has decided to reduce the level of violence in Tuesday night’s episode of Cult, in light of last week’s horrifically deadly mass shooting in Las Vegas.
While I’m usually never a proponent of sanitizing the original cut of a movie or TV show in order to make it palatable for squeamish audiences, in this particular case, Murphy’s reasoning is understandable.
Tuesday’s episode – entitled “Mid-Western Assassin” – is set to open with a mass shooting scene, and Murphy came to the conclusion that airing a graphically violent mass shooting so soon after Las Vegas would be an irresponsible move, and insensitive to the victims.
Whether one personally agrees that there was a need to edit the episode or not, it’s hard to argue that Murphy’s heart isn’t in the right place here. Here’s his reasoning for the change.
“Should you air it? Should you not air it? How do you be sensitive? My point of view was 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. So our decision was to re-edit it and I felt that that was the right move.”
Considering Murphy’s timing-based explanation for making the edit, one presumes that the uncut version of the episode will likely make the eventual DVD and Blu-Ray release of Cult.
All images used in this article are credited to FX.