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How AMERICAN HORROR STORY: CULT Will and Won’t Talk About the Election

When Ryan Murphy first announced that the next installment of American Horror Story would be about the 2016 election, he brought new meaning to the word “horror.”

“I don’t have a title, but the season that we begin shooting in June is going to be about the election that we just went through,” Murphy revealed on Andy Cohen’s Watch What Happens Live. “I think that will be interesting for a lot of people.”

When Cohen asked him if Trump would be a character on the new season, he replied, “Maybe.”

Of course, now that Murphy and co. have announced the season seven title, American Horror Story: Cult, and released teaser videos showing cults of terrifying clowns, it’s pretty hard to see any connection to the 2016 election and our current President. When executive producer Alexis Martin Woodall fielded questions on The Women of American Horror Story panel at the 2017 Summer TCA press tour on the Fox Studios lot, she was asked point blank just how this season of AHS would deal with the election as previously promised. And as it turns out it may be a jump-off point (either metaphorical or otherwise), but not the focus.

“Honestly when Ryan had made the announcement originally that the season is going to deal with Trump, I think [he meant] it’s more about what’s going on in our world around us,” Woodall told the room of journalists. “We talk about the streak of paranoia and our idea launches from that point. It’s not what you think it is, and I’m not trying to be cagey. As with all good horror and suspense, knowing less is actually so much more because it’s going to unfold for you. It’s an element in our launch point.”

New cast member Alison Pill also teased that “this particular season has a streak of paranoia that’s infectious,” so expect paranoia to play a major factor in the storyline. (Fake news, anyone?)

While most spoilers (and any information about the new, mysterious season) were on lock down, Woodall was able to give a few words of teasers about what fans can expect to see from AHS: Cult. “Bloody tension, a well-cooked meal, and an exciting trip to the grocery store,” she said with a smile.

Pill, along with fellow AHS newcomers Billie Lourd and Leslie Grossman, joined AHS vets Sarah Paulson and Adina Porter for the panel, but unfortunately they were not able to say much about who they were playing this season. Paulson joked that a married lesbian couple would be played by herself and Pill, and then followed that up with, “That may or may not be true.” So take that with a grain of salt. Especially since it was told to be an epic love story between Evan Peters and Sarah Paulson.

Porter was able to reveal that she’s playing a broadcast news journalist. “It’s a very hard job and I respect what you do,” she said, prompting the room full of journalists to laugh.

Lourd, who first worked with Murphy on Scream Queens, teased that unlike her former role, she won’t be playing the comedic relief.

“This is straight up horror drama,” Lourd said. “It’s definitely less of my comedic side, more of my real dark side. This time I actually have emotions, which is real exciting for me. [It’s] extremely different [from Scream Queens]. Scream Queens is completely hyper real. This show is based in insane reality that I don’t want to be a part of. My character is more of a human this time.”

As for who else Paulson wants to see join the AHS family, she had one name at the ready. “I’d like Emma Thompson up in this piece,” she said. Hey Murphy, listen to your star!

What do you think this season of AHS will be about? Are you happy or disappointed that it won’t actually be about Trump? Tweet me at @SydneyBucksbaum and let’s discuss!

Images: FX

American Horror Story: Cult premieres Tuesday, Sept. 5 on FX.



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