×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Ryan Murphy on ‘Showrunning as Advocacy’ and the Post-Me Too ‘Age of Enlightenment’

With shows like “Glee,” “American Crime Story,” “American Horror Story” and now “Pose” — featuring the largest-ever transgender series regular cast and largest-ever LGBTQ cast for a scripted series — under his belt, Ryan Murphy says he’s “not interested in shock value anymore” but rather wants to see “how far I can push the envelope.”

During a sit-down with investigative journalist Ronan Farrow at a Hollywood Radio and Television Society event in Los Angeles on Wednesday, Murphy spoke about his interest in “showrunning as advocacy.”

Ronan, who won a Pulitzer for his work breaking the first of the Harvey Weinstein accusations, asked Murphy about the #MeToo movement and Hollywood post-Weinstein. The producer said that he’s had “a lot of conversations in writers’ rooms with executives about what is the new normal, what is the new way of being and behaving and acceptability.”

“I think that’s a great thing,” Murphy said of the open conversations people are now willing to have. “[It’s] an age of enlightenment.”

The super-producer, who recently signed a Netflix deal that is believed to be the biggest TV pact ever, also called his new show “Pose” “the highlight of my career,” saying, “It’s the most moving thing I’ve ever been a part of.”

“I’m just so moved by [the cast] as a community. They have struggled and have such difficult lives in so many ways, so to be able to give them a place in the world and an active love and a network to be on, to be on magazine covers and to be seen, particularly with the president that we have, is an amazing gift in my life, let alone that I could give back to them,” Murphy said. “When I got that second season I burst into tears because it will change the lives of so many young kids being able to watch that show.”

Later in the conversation with Farrow, who won a Pulitzer for his work breaking the first of the Harvey Weinstein accusations, and Murphy discussed the mega-producer’s Half Foundation initiative, which aims to get more women and minorities behind the camera in Hollywood.

“I think it’s 65 percent of all episodes are helmed by women or minorities [now],” he said of the strides his company has made. “More than that, we’re making an initiative with the crew. I really want the crews that we work with day-to-day to be people who haven’t traditionally been allowed in those positions or never thought that they could.”

As for what women bring to a set that’s different than men, the producer said he thinks “when women are directing they’re more apt to say, ‘What do you think?'”

“They’re more apt to be interested in the Hillary Clinton idea of ‘It takes a village,’ there’s different roles and let’s all make this together,” he explained. “There’s an ability to maybe have less judgement, I know a lot of female actors on my shows say when they’re being directed by women sometimes they feel that they can take more chances and try something and it’s a little more safe, which completely makes sense to me.”

More Scene

  • Billy Eichner Power of Pride Variety

    Billy Eichner on Taylor Swift's 'Calm Down' Backlash

    When Taylor Swift released her “You Need to Calm Down” music video, it seemed like every member of the LGBTQ in Hollywood was included — except for Billy Eichner. “I’m still not gay enough for Taylor Swift — or too gay — I don’t know what it is,” Eichner joked at Variety’s Power of Pride [...]

  • Bebe Rexha

    Mumford and Sons, Sting, Ciara, Bebe Rexha Light Up Cannes Lions

    There was no shortage of excellent music at the 2019 edition of Cannes Lion. The international gathering of creatives drew top music brands – among them: Spotify, Live Nation, iHeartRadio, SiriusXM/Pandora, VEVO and Universal Music Group – and a slew of well-known acts to stages across the Croissette, to villas above the city and onto [...]

  • Patrick Wilson

    Patrick Wilson, Mckenna Grace on Scary Stories From 'Annabelle Comes Home' Set

    Tales of spooky occurrences on the sets of horror movies like “The Exorcist” and “Poltergeist” have circulated for years, and it looks like “The Conjuring” franchise is following in their footsteps in that regard. The cast of “Annabelle Comes Home” shared their unnerving stories from set at the film’s premiere on Thursday night at the Regency [...]

  • Donald Trump Chucky Childs Play

    'Child's Play' Stars on New Chucky's 'Creepy' Resemblance to Donald Trump

    At Wednesday night’s world premiere of the “Child’s Play” remake, it was obvious that evil doll Chucky — the star of seven films over three decades — had a little work done. And now he bears a striking resemblance to Donald Trump. “Oh, you caught that?” Aubrey Plaza asked Variety on the black carpet outside [...]

  • Cara Delevingne attends The Trevor Project's

    Cara Delevingne Recalls Producers Saying That Being Queer Will Hurt Her Career

    Hollywood may be celebrating LGBTQ Pride Month with displays of the rainbow flag and lots of talk about supporting diversity and inclusion, but Cara Delevingne says there’s still work to be done. “Behind closed doors, we are still being told, as I have, by powerful Hollywood producers that we can’t make it if we’re queer,” [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content