Tuesday, 3 March 2015

Ryan Murphy: Glee & Meee!

If I look back to seven years ago, Glee was going to be about a lot of things — song, dance, Jane Lynch’s character being waterboarded — but for me, I wanted to do something personal on the show. I grew up in Indiana behind a cornfield and a church, and for me the only single person I knew who was gay was Paul Lynde. So with Glee I wanted to write about something personal, something about gay characters, something about creating your own kind of family no matter who you are or where you live.

I have always believed in the ideology of one of my friends and idols, Norman Lear, that the way to acceptance is understanding. You have to see it, experience it in your own house and your life, to empathize. I think the success of Glee and Modern Family brought gay kids and gay families to millions of people who think they didn’t know those kinds of people, and then suddenly, within the course of one month, they did. To me, that is the great legacy of these shows and is why public opinion, I think, has changed so radically and so quickly.

I have been told that seven years ago, before Glee and Modern Family and Transparent and Orange Is the New Black, that only 18 percent of Americans believed that a gay or nontraditional family was entitled to equal rights. Today, that number has grown to 52 percent. That is a great change, that is a great victory, shockingly in such a short amount of time, but there is more work to be done.

I started writing television in 1998, and I still have the network executive notes from my first show in my office. They were repeated misses that used to say the following, quote: ‘Could you please not have the cheerleader wear a fur coat?’ Code for ‘too gay.’ And ‘Could you please remove the gay characters holding hands?’ Code for the same. I am happy to say that I no longer receive notes like this, and I am happy to say that all the executives who gave me those notes are no longer employed...

Ryan Murphy accepting something called the Family Equality Council award.

Via Vanity Fair.

Remember when people used to watch Glee?

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