Hive minds, fear-mongering, and political clowns will play important roles in American Horror Story: Cult, the seventh season of co-creators Ryan Murphy and Brad Falchuk’s horror anthology series. But the show’s latest PR stunt, a shuddering website that unlocks new information every week leading up to the season premiere, hints at reality more than the show normally would.

Are the website’s clowns meant to be stand-ins for the cult-ish political movement that flourished during the 2016 election and helped propel Donal Trump to an unprecedented victory?

The “he” and “she” referred to in the website’s short videos are probably Evan Peters’s Kai and Sarah Paulson’s Ally, as the season seems to be revolving heavily around them and their romantic relationship. But Murphy’s early confirmation that Season 7 would be based around the exhausting horrors of the 2016 Presidential Election and the red, white, and blue clues so far raise questions about the role politics will play in the upcoming season.

A singular blue female-looking character standing in the middle of a swaying group of red clowns.

With Season 7 opening with real footage of presidential candidates Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton, plus the whole Cult thing, it seems that incendiary politics and veneration of certain figures will play a large role in AHS this time around.

The cult of partisan politics is wide-reaching and intense even in our own world, so just imagine it in a fictitious one. Plus, the website’s videos — which feature a disturbing male voice saying things such as “He believed strength was in numbers. Strength is in fear. We will show you,” “Did you just think you’d say ‘I’ll join’ and that would be it? You must surrender everything, especially your fear,” and “Who you are doesn’t matter. There is no you. There is only us.” — seem to take the whole “us vs. them” thing to a new level.


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