Ed Board

Did American Horror Story take the political aspect too far?


Last Tuesday, American Horror Story premiered its seventh season: “Cult.” (Warning: minor spoilers ahead).

The episode began with Donald Trump winning the presidential election last year, and showcased two opposing reactions: Sarah Paulson’s character, Ally, was devastated with the results; Evan Peters’ character, Kai, on the other hand, was elated.

While this scene did encompass the split reactions among the American people at the time, both emotions shown in the episode were portrayed as “over-the-top,” according to a Variety article.

For instance, Ally and her wife are shown emotionally distraught and yelling obscenities at the television. Kai is shown celebrating — even going as far as to rub Cheetos on his face to mirror the new president’s skin — while his sister is upset because CNN didn’t give a “trigger warning” prior to the election results.

The Spectator editorial board discussed whether the series took the election aspect of the show too far.

The first two speakers said no.

“… They were kind of satirizing both sides,” one member said. “They weren’t necessarily … taking a political stance. They were more showing the horror of the divide in American politics today in a comical way.”

Another speaker disagreed with the first two, stating it was a big move for a popular television show to discuss such a polarized topic.

“I think it’s okay to discuss it,” they said. “But I think people go to TV to get away from politics.”

Another editorial board member thought both sides to the argument made sense. They agreed the show went too far in certain aspects.

“There’s so much negativity on all fronts with this entire situation and to bring it up again and to make it a bigger scene might cause a bigger uproar as people are reminded of it (the emotion’s from the election results),” the speaker said. “However … I am happy as a journalist to say they didn’t depict one side as more negative than the other because it sounds like they showed each side’s opinions, and that’s what this public needs. But I’m sad this is the medium it’s being showed in.”

The Spectator editorial board voted 3-4-1, the majority saying American Horror Story didn’t take the election aspect too far in their premiere episode, and one member chose to abstain from voting.