Due to the mass shooting massacre in Las Vegas on Oct. 1, co-creator Ryan Murphy made the decision to re-edit of what would have been a graphic mass shooting scene in Tuesday night’s episode. Deadline reported that Murphy wanted to tone down the scene in respect of the victims and their families.
The episode, “Mid-Western Assassin,” originally opened into a scene that involved a mass shooting, but was edited having most of the violence occurring off-screen. Being that the show does not usually shy away from presenting graphic material, Murphy clarified that cutting the graphic parts of the opening, violent scene was to show more sensitivity towards the Las Vegas shooting that left 58 dead and over 500 injured.
Murphy explained at the New Yorker Festival on Saturday, “I believe I have the right to air it. But I also believe in victims’ rights and I believe that now is not the week to have something explosive or incendiary in the culture because someone who was affected might watch it 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.”
FX also issued a statement previously on Monday stating, “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 [Tuesday] night’s episode. 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.”
Murphy also explained that the unedited, brutal scene was a warning to society about gun violence. He described the intent of the scene was “meant to be an obvious anti-gun warning about society” and felt a “responsibility” to people who were affected by gun violence.
Hollywood Reporter noted that Murphy further added, “Nobody ever talks about victims’ rights. That’s sort of a weird emotional discussion that’s never bridged. But I felt great sympathy for people who were affected, certainly, and family members and loved ones and people who are upset about the way the world is.”
In respect of the many victims, Murphy along with the rest of the AHS: Cult crew made a considerate decision for the viewers.
The unedited version of the episode will be available on demand.
AHS: Cult airs at 10/9c on Tuesdays on FX.