Back in February, American Horror Story executive producer Ryan Murphy promised that the seventh season of the show would recount the nightmare of the 2016 presidential election. In March, he walked it back a bit, saying that the series would merely be an allegory. In July, a teaser clip announcing the “cult” theme of the season featured a crew of killer clowns muttering disturbing mantras about group think. That day, Murphy posted promotional artwork to his personal Instagram account that included an American flag, but there was no sign of Trump or Hillary Clinton.
Given Murphy’s propensity to troll loyal viewers of the show, there was plenty of speculation about whether he would actually bring real-world politics into the generally surreal universe of AHS. Though many seasons of the show have been loosely inspired by true stories — including the Black Dahlia murder, the Zodiac Killer, and Nazis — this would be the first to hew so closely to such a recent and universal event.
Now, with the debut of the season’s title sequence, it’s confirmed. American Horror Story: Cult, which premieres September 5th on FX, will involve someone wearing a Hillary Clinton mask and someone wearing a Donald Trump mask. The title sequence also shows more of the killer clowns (a theme for the fall entertainment of 2017) and two people making out while entirely coated in blood. It looks a little like the trailer for The Purge: Election Year, which came out in the summer of 2016 and already felt a little on the nose in that political climate.
Several other fictional re-creations of the events of last fall are also in the works — including a Annapurna-funded miniseries from Zero Dark Thirty writer Mark Boal and an HBO special from the team behind Game Change — though AHS: Cult will be the first to air.