'Mr. Robot' Finale Pulled For Scene Similar To Virginia Shooting
USA Network has decided to postpone the season finale of their drama Mr. Robot as there is a scene that bears similarities to the shootings today in Virginia.Early this morning, WDBJ reporter Allison Parker and cameraman Adam Ward were gunned down by Vester Flanagan, a former coworker at the Roanoke-based TV station, while conducting a live interview near Moneta, Virginia. In response to the tragedy, USA Network, a subsidiary of NBCUniversal, has decided to reschedule the finale of Mr. Robot due to a graphic scene with some resemblance to today's events. They did not disclose any additional information about what the scene might contain, but the episode will air next week, according to City News Service. Tonight, they'll play last week's episode instead.
Our thoughts go out to all those affected during this difficult time.— Mr. Robot (@whoismrrobot) August 26, 2015
Mr. Robot is in its first season and has received a lot of positive reviews. The gritty drama follows Elliot Alderson (Rami Malek), an anti-social, morphine-addicted tech at AllSafe, a cyber security firm, who gets involved with a mysterious underground group of hackers based out of a defunct arcade in Coney Island. The group, known as fsociety, is led by 'Mr. Robot' (Christian Slater), and seeks to bring down evil corporations—in particular, one that is actually referred to as "Evil Corp." Alderson is something of an unreliable narrator, who breaks the fourth wall to tell the audience—his 'imaginary friend'—his thoughts via voiceover.
Grantland writer Andy Greenwald tweeted that he had seen the episode, and that delaying it was the right choice to make.
Having seen it, I agree that USA was right to reconsider. The finale is excellent, though. Don't expect that to change, even with an edit.— Andy Greenwald (@andygreenwald) August 26, 2015
If you are tweeting that USA is doing this to boost ratings, I don't know what to tell you.— Andy Greenwald (@andygreenwald) August 26, 2015
In its current state, there's no way for the finale to avoid being seen as responsive. That's a disservice to our reality & the show's art.— Andy Greenwald (@andygreenwald) August 26, 2015
This wouldn't be the first time a TV episode has been pulled due to a national tragedy. The often grisly Hannibal skipped an episode entirely in the wake of the Sandy Hook shooting and the Boston Marathon bombing. The episode featured a woman (Molly Shannon) who convinced children to kill for her. After the Newton shooting, episodes of Family Guy and American Dad were pulled, and ads for The Following, a show starring Kevin Bacon as an FBI agent tracking a serial killer with a massive following, were edited to be less graphic, the A.V. Club reported.