How Mr. Robot’s finale echoed a real shooting

The controversial scene is eerily similar to the 1987 on-air suicide of Pennsylvania politician R. Budd Dwyer.

(Spoilers alert: Don’t read this if you haven’t watched the Mr. Robot finale)

After seeing the disturbing shooting scene from Wednesday’s Mr. Robot finale, it’s hard to argue with USA’s decision not to air the episode just hours after the on-air shooting of WDBJ journalists Alison Parker and Adam Ward.

The scene follows the successful takedown of E Corp’s finances by Elliot (Rami Malek) and his FScociety hacker crew. In it, a despondent executive shoots himself on live television as he explains the situation during an interview.


The fictional scene didn’t parallel the Virginia tragedy, except that both included horrific on-air shootings. But is was eerily similar to the 1987 on-air suicide of Pennsylvania politician R. Budd Dwyer.

Pennsylvania State Treasurer R. Budd Dwyer held a pistol as he prepared s to kill himself in front of cameras during a news conference in his State Capitol office in Harrisburg, Pennsylvannia on January 22, 1987.

After being found guilty on bribery charges, Dwyer contested the allegations during a televised news conference before drawing a .357 Magnum revolver from an envelope and shooting himself in the head. The former State Treasurer had faced up to 55 years in jail.


News stations in the Pennsylvania area and around the country aired edited portions of the incident, and unedited versions still lurk online.

Dwyer’s death even inspired the Filter’s grim hit“Hey Man, Nice Shot.’’

If this is the first you’re hearing of the Dwyer shooting, it’s probably because the horrific moment was not viewed as widely as today’s social media-fueled tragedies.

If something like the Dwyer incident or the scene in Mr. Robot happened in 2015, millions of people would see the clip in moments.

History of Boston police shootings of unarmed teens:

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