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Friday, March 03, 2017

AHS 7: Murphy vs Trump

Written by  Brian George Hose

The last few weeks have been a tricky time for me and this column. There’s so much to write about, so much to respond to in the world that it’s often difficult to pick a topic that I can do justice in approximately 650 words. News cycles and politics change daily, sometimes by the minute, and what is important and relevant when I write may be a somewhat distant memory by the time it’s published, the world having moved on to something newer and more salacious.

It also seems that red herrings have taken up residence in the news, distracting us from what’s really going on until the real story is over and done with. Once we get the information we need we can look back and solve the puzzle; but, by then, there’s another story, another scandal in the works.

Luckily we have a new voice to weigh in on the matter. Ryan Murphy, co-creator and executive producer of the hit anthology series “American Horror Story” has recently announced the theme for the series’ seventh season, which begins filming in June. The theme is truly an American horror story: the 2016 election. Murphy is keeping a tight lip on the new season, but when a reporter asked if he planned to cast an actor to play Trump, he responded with a coy, “Maybe.”

This may seem insignificant, but something tells me there may be more to this season than meets the eye. By basing the new season on actual events, Murphy and his team of writers are in a position to not only comment but chronicle the events that brought our nation to where we are today. And I’m guessing it’s going to get messy. Back in October Trump threatened to sue the New York Times for defamation because they reported on the leaked tape that revealed Trump bragging about sexually assaulting women. Trump has also been critical of “Saturday Night Live” and actor Alec Baldwin for portraying him in a less than flattering light on a comedy show. Something tells me he won’t like anything about the new season of “AHS,” even if his character is given a different name.

What’s so exciting to me about this is that it seems Murphy is challenging Trump. Trump likes to call CNN and BBC (among other news outlets) “fake news.” If he plays this card with “AHS,” there’s no response. Obviously the show is fake and all he will accomplish is revealing just how thin-skinned he really is. Should Trump try to sue Murphy for defamation, he will only prove what critics are saying about his attempts to control and possibly censor the media. Either way, Murphy wins.

Ryan Murphy is no stranger to bizarre behavior. Those of you who saw the fourth season, “Freak Show,” may remember a character named Dandy. Dandy, like Trump, is incredibly wealthy, privileged, and demands to be a star. Dandy also happens to be a psychopath who views people as objects and will do whatever it takes, including bribery and murder, to make himself happy. It’s possible there are some parallels (allegedly) to Trump that could be revived for the new season.

In light of recent events, I think it’s important to note that Murphy and “AHS” are friends of the LGBTQ community. LGBTQ characters and themes have appeared throughout the series, which is really a commentary about the horrors of American life. Out actress Sarah Paulson famously anchored the second season, “Asylum,” as a journalist who is committed to an asylum in the 1960s because she’s a lesbian.

Though our country and our community has made great strides in recent years, the LGBTQ community still faces a number of horrors. The protections for trans students that were put in place by the Obama administration have been repealed, making already vulnerable children that much more so. To this, I say that every bully eventually has to face the music; and, if Murphy is the DJ, we’re in for a wild ride.

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