Brow Beat

USA Delays Mr. Robot’s Graphic Finale After the Virginia Shooting. Sadly, There’s Lots of Precedent.

Still of Rami Malek in Mr. Robot.
Rami Malek in Mr. Robot.

Photo by Sarah Shatz/USA Network

Wednesday’s hotly anticipated season finale of Mr. Robot has been delayed a week following the tragic shooting of a TV reporter and cameraman in Virginia. In a statement USA Network explained, “The previously filmed season finale of Mr. Robot contains a graphic scene similar in nature to today’s tragic events in Virginia. Out of respect to the victims, their families and colleagues, and our viewers, we are postponing tonight’s episode. Our thoughts go out to all those affected during this difficult time.”


There’s precedent for such postponements due to similarly tragic and shocking real-life events. As Emily Nussbaum pointed out on Twitter, the Buffy the Vampire episode “Earshot” was bumped after the events in Columbine and a child-centered episode in Season 1 of Hannibal was pushed after Sandy Hook. There are, sadly, many more examples. Fox pulled an episode of Bones and One Life to Live canceled a hostage plot after the Virginia Tech tragedy.

Mr. Robot, which has earned raves for its portrayal of hackers as well as its ability to pull off complicated twists with grace, has shown violent imagery in the past. But many TV critics, including Sonia Saraiya of Salon and Todd VanDerWerff of Vox, have seen the finale and agree that this was the correct call.*

The finale will run in its entirety next Wednesday night, Sept. 2.

Correction, Aug. 26, 2015: This post originally misspelled Todd VanDerWerff’s last name.