Death haunts the corners of nearly every television project that bears Bryan Fuller’s name—he is the man who created Dead Like Me and Pushing Daisies, after all—but even a guy with Fuller’s macabre sensibility knows when to say enough is enough. And that “when” is a moment in which most Americans are throwing their hands in the air and crying “enough is enough”: According to Variety, Fuller asked his bosses at NBC to pull the fourth episode of Hannibal in light of “the cultural climate right now in the U.S.,” a nightmarescape of explosions, mass casualties, and fear that doesn’t necessarily need Hannibal Lecter to reinforce the notion that mankind’s refined, high-cheekboned façade is a poor mask for cannibalistic tendencies. Especially since the show’s prospective audience is still feeling reverberations from the Sandy Hook shooting in December, a tragedy that has unfortunate and uncomfortable echoes in a Hannibal where guest Molly Shannon brainwashes children to kill other children. “With this episode, it wasn’t about the graphic imagery or violence,” Fuller told Variety, which failed to note whether or not the Hannibal showrunner was curled up in the fetal position, soothingly rocking himself back and forth. “It was the associations that came with the subject matter that I felt would inhibit the enjoyment of the overall episode. It was my own sensitivity.”
In lieu of the previously scheduled episode, NBC will proceed directly to Hannibal’s fifth hour, which the network claims won’t cause any continuity issues; though, according to (link NSFW, unless your work is cool with naked butts and back muscles fashioned into angel wings) BuzzFeed’s Kate Aurthur, the episode that will air ain’t exactly a walk in the park, either. The Peacock’s decision is not the first such call in the wake of this horrible, no good, very bad week: The network itself preempted Revolution the day of the Boston Marathon bombing, while ABC punted a bomb-themed episode of its mystery series Castle—because, for real, have you seen the chilling shit that’s playing out on TV now without the input of a writing staff?