In the past year, Murphy has launched a director mentor program that has attracted 59 participants to date and provided more than $200,000 in stipends to promising helmers. Half has worked with Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti to create an internship program in connection with the California Film Commission. In addition, Half will host the Half Fest showcase of works by Directing Mentorship Program participants on Aug. 26-27 at L.A.’s Skirball Cultural Center.
Murphy and FX Networks noted Wednesday that the Half initiative helped boost the level of female and minority directors working on FX series to 51% in 2016, from just 12% in 2015. For Ryan Murphy Productions, 60% of directing assignments have gone to women, and 94% of director slots went to directors who were female, people of color or LGBT. Murphy noted that his company has numerous female and minority department heads, as well as an all-female art department working on such shows as FX’s “American Horror Story,” “American Crime Story” and “Feud” and Fox’s “9-1-1.”
“I love looking around my company and empowering inclusion in all departments” Murphy said. “I recently led a production meeting and was proud to see that more than half of the people sitting at the table were women and minorities. That’s the way it should be.”