American Horror Story: Cult is the seventh season of the FX horror anthology television series American Horror Story. The season premiered on September 5, 2017 and concluded on November 14, 2017. It was picked up on October 4, 2016. The subtitle Cult was announced on July 20, 2017.
Returning cast members from previous seasons include Sarah Paulson, Evan Peters, Adina Porter, Cheyenne Jackson, Frances Conroy, Mare Winningham, Emma Roberts, John Carroll Lynch, Chaz Bono, James Morosini and Jamie Brewer. New additions to the cast include Billie Lourd and Alison Pill. Cult marks the first season to not feature series mainstay actress Lily Rabe.
The fictional city of Brookfield Heights, Michigan is left divided by the 2016 U.S. presidential election. Local restaurant owner Ally Mayfair-Richards (Sarah Paulson) is utterly distraught by Donald Trump's victory and several of her longstanding phobias, including coulrophobia, hemophobia, and trypophobia, intensify as a result. Similarly devastated is fellow Brookfield Heights resident Winter Anderson (Billie Lourd), a liberal young woman who dropped out of college to work on Hillary Clinton's campaign. Contrarily, Winter's estranged and manipulative brother, Kai (Evan Peters), rejoices at the election results and is enticed to pursue political power.
In the months following the election, Ally is targeted and relentlessly terrorized by masked clowns. Those close to her, including her psychiatrist, Dr. Rudy Vincent (Cheyenne Jackson), struggle to ascertain whether the attacks she alleges are real or merely anxiety-fueled hallucinations. Ally's paranoia and turmoil, escalated by suspicious activities perpetrated by new neighbors Harrison (Billy Eichner) and Meadow Wilton (Leslie Grossman), hinder her relationships with her wife (Alison Pill) and her son (Cooper Dodson).
Depictions of true cults, including the Peoples Temple and the Manson Family, mirror the affairs of a fledgling Brookfield Heights extremist group comprised of individuals fed up with the political climate of the United States. Broadcast newscaster Beverly Hope's (Adina Porter) intensive coverage of the brutal atrocities executed by this group further divides the citizens of Brookfield Heights.