Scream Queens and American Crime Story creator Ryan Murphy has been listening to the calls for improved diversity in Hollywood. According to The Hollywood Reporter, the prolific producer and showrunner is now launching a foundation through which he plans to create opportunities for women, people of color, and LGBTQ professionals vying for director slots on his shows. The foundation is called Half, and aims to fill 50 percent of those slots with diverse voices by the end of 2016.
"I can do better," Murphy told THR, going on to say that people in power have a duty to open pathways to talent in ways that will change the industry. "The industry has always been about, you come to us," he said. "There’s not a lot of effort and inclusion, and I’m saying, ‘No, we’re going to go to you.'"
"There’s not a lot of effort and inclusion, and I’m saying, ‘No, we’re going to go to you.'"
Half's mission will be to even the playing field for minority voices in his series, while also creating a database of talent that will be shared with other showrunners who plan on doing similar work. In addition, the foundation will do outreach to colleges and universities, starting with UCLA, USC, and the American Film Institute before expanding to the rest of the country, to discover talented young people and offer them internships, pair them with mentors, and give them shadowing opportunities.
Murphy is certainly well-positioned to make a high-profile move toward more inclusion behind the camera. A recognized name in television, he's responsible for popular, zeitgeist-y past series like Glee and Nip/Tuck, as well as three anthology series running concurrently in American Horror Story, Scream Queens, and the newly-launched American Crime Story. Hopefully other notable Hollywood figures follow his example.