Hannibal: the Nature of Violence & Censorship

While Hannibal‘s fate still hangs in the balance, with no word from NBC on whether the show will return, series creator Bryan Fuller sat down with BuzzFeed to discuss the nature of violence and gore on the serial killer-themed show.

Perhaps most interestingly, he spoke about the fourth episode, Ceuf, which was yanked from the line-up and then released as a butchered series of webisodes, with the central plot (a woman kidnapping children and forcing them to shoot and kill their families) removed. Because the censorship happened immediately after the Boston Marathon bombings, most assumed the network was yanking the episode because of that act of violence. Not so, says Fuller:

We had made the decision a week and a half or two weeks before it was announced, and then the following week, Boston happened. Of course, that’s the closest association by proximity; the dialogue became about that. It’s such a tricky call to make. It’s an interesting episode and had interesting ideas. But on the other hand, it’s hard to ignore this thing in the nation.

Yanking the episode from the air was about being sensitive, but it was also about not looking like they were trying to cash in on recent tragedy, noted Fuller:

It was about being thoughtful and sensitive. And it was a conversation with the network, where we were both very much saying, “Yes, we have concerns about the content given where we are with gun violence in the nation. And also violence against children with guns.” It just felt at that time perhaps we just put a pause on that episode because we wanted people to [see] this show with all of its merits, as opposed to something that was reflecting a ripped-from-the-headlines quality. Which really isn’t the style of the show, and isn’t Thomas Harris-ian.

In the interview, Fuller also addresses his show being dropped by the Salt Lake City NBC affiliate over its graphic content, his love of his small but rabid fanbase (“I’m very excited by the audience that we have.”), and how he strives more for psychological terror over blood and gore. Check out the full interview over at BuzzFeed.