Ryan Murphy, television's ubiquitous show runner, doesn't have the cleanest record for representing women and minorities in a way that's particularly flattering, which we covered in detail here. American Crime Story aside, some of his biggest projects (American Horror Story and Glee) and even the lesser ones (Scream Queens) have some troublesome depictions of both demographics, especially when considering women and minorities are sorely underrepresented in media as it is. One way we might be able to fix that? Put more of them behind the camera.
It appears Murphy got the memo. Amid ongoing unrest about underrepresentation in Hollywood, Murphy has pledged to fill half the positions for television directors on his projects with women and minorities—a big move if he actually follows through. The Hollywood Reporter spoke with Murphy about the endeavor, which he'll tackle with his 20th Century Fox TV-based production company Half.
Murphy's focus initially was on providing more opportunities to female directors, comprising only 16 percent of TV's directorial roles during the 2014-15 season. He has since broadened his ambitions to include all minority candidates, which make up only 18 percent, according to the DGA. Among Murphy's goals: By the end of 2016, he is committed to having 50 percent of all director slots on his shows — Scream Queens, American Crime Story and American Horror Story — filled by either women or minority candidates, which he defines as people of color or members of the LGBTQ community.
"I personally can do better," Murphy said. And it's true. If this project comes to fruition, it may coax others in similar positions of power to follow suit. Your move, Hollywood.