The upcoming episode of FX's politically-charged show American Horror Story: Cult, titled "Mid-Western Assassin," opens with a mass shooting at a rally.
And considering the episode will be airing on Tuesday, Oct. 10, just over a week after the Las Vegas shooting resulted in the deaths of 58 people, some have questioned whether or not the episode should air.
FX has declined to comment on the episode, but during a New Yorker Festival interview on Saturday, AHS creator Ryan Murphy told Emily Nussbaum that the upcoming episode has been re-edited to be less graphic.
Murphy said he didn't want anyone to be potentially triggered by the scene. "I believe I have the right to air it, but I also believe in victims’ rights," he said. "And I believe that now is not the week to have something explosive or incendiary in the culture."
AHS: Cult's storyline kicked off on the evening of the 2016 election and has followed a Donald Trump supporter named Kai (Evan Peters) who quickly amasses a large, homicidal following.
This won't be the first time the franchise has portrayed a mass shooting: In American Horror Story's debut season, Tate (also played by Peters) shoots and kills some of his classmates in an episode inspired by the 1999 Columbine shooting.
UPDATE: FX has released the following statement regarding Tuesday's episode of American Horror Story: Cult.
"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, October 10, 10 PM ET/PT). 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. Only the edited version of the episode will air on the FX linear channel, while the unedited version of the episode will be available on the VOD platform of your cable, satellite or telco provider, as well as on the FX Networks non-linear platforms, FXNOW and FX+."
Michael Blackmon is an entertainment writer with BuzzFeed News and is based in New York.
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