Art Imitates Life: ‘Mr. Robot’ Finale Delayed Out Of Respect For Virginia Shooting Victims

The on-air murders of two Virginia journalists by a disgruntled former co-worker is so unbelievable that is seems to be pulled straight from a TV script, not real life.

Turns out, the USA series Mr. Robot came uncomfortably close to predicting the news event, so much so that the network has opted to pull the show’s season finale due to unspecified similarities to the tragic shootings, NBC News reported.

“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.”

The details of the finale were not revealed, or its fictional similarity to the shooting deaths of Alison Parker, 24, and Adam Ward, 27, on Wednesday. The now-deceased shooter, Vestor Lee Flanagan, walked up to Parker and Ward as they conducted a live interview with a local businesswoman, Vicki Gardner, for local station WDBJ. He posted a video of the act online, narrated his crime on social media, and sent a suicidal manifesto to ABC News.

Flanagan shot himself during a subsequent police chase.

For those of you unfamiliar with Mr. Robot, the series is just wrapping up its much-buzzed first season. It follows character Elliot Alderson (played by Remi Malek), a hacker who joins a group called fsociety, which aims to dismantle a huge corporation with the end goal of erasing debt, E! Online reported. Carly Chaikin, Portia Doubleday, Martin Wallström, and Christian Slater also star.

The finale had been planned for August 26 and now, it will air September 2. USA has ordered a second season of Mr. Robot.

Instead of the finale, the network will air a repeat of Mr. Robot instead, Variety added.

Of course, this isn’t the first time art has imitated real life far too closely, a risk that is inherent in pushing the limits of the imagination to create compelling stories. The human imagination is capable of crafting any number of disturbing scenarios that remain safe to enjoy and talk about simply because they are fiction. That is, until such fictional stories play out in the real world.

Variety pointed out a couple examples. NBC yanked Hannibal for its similarity to the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing and the Newtown, Massachusetts, school shooting. The episode was pulled because of a storyline in which one character brainwashes children to kill other children.

The Newtown shootings, in which 22 children were shot to death, also convinced Syfy to pull an episode of Haven, which presented violent scenes in a high school.

Going all the way back to 2001, Friends pulled a scene in which Chandler made a joke about airport security, which seemed inappropriate in light of the 9/11 attacks. That scene was recently released for the first time.

[Photo Courtesy USA Network]