Glee’s Ryan Murphy launches initiative to increase diversity behind the lens

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The producer has announced a new foundation committed to having 50% of all director slots in his shows filled by either women or minorities

Ryan Murphy, creator of Glee, American Horror Story, Scream Queens, and most recently, The People v OJ Simpson: American Crime Story, has launched a program to tackle Hollywoods ongoing diversity problem.

Half, a foundation within Ryan Murphy Productions, his 20th Century Fox Television-based production company, is committed to having 50% of all director slots in his slows filled by either women or minorities (which he defined to the Hollywood Reporter as people of color or members of the LGBTQ community).

I personally can do better, Murphy said, in announcing his initiative. He cited a recent speech made by former publicist Nanci Ryder at THRs Women in Entertainment breakfast, where she called upon the industry to take action on its gender problem, for inspiring his new venture.

Nanci said, People in power, you have a position and responsibility to change the industry, and I thought, Shes right, said Murphy.

According to the Directors Guild of America, female directors made up only 16% of TVs directorial roles during the 2014-15 season; minorities made up 18%. Film boasts even worse figures: of the top 100 films in 2014, two were directed by women, according to a study conducted by the University of Southern Californias Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism.

The industry has always been about, you come to us, Murphy said, addressing minority representation behind the camera. Theres not a lot of effort and inclusion, and Im saying, No, were going to go to you.

To do that, Half has promised to do extensive outreach at colleges and universities throughout the country, including visits to the University of Southern California and the University of California. Selected candidates will be provided with mentors with Murphys production company, as well as receiving shadowing opportunities in the industry.

Read more: http://www.theguardian.com/tv-and-radio/2016/feb/04/glee-ryan-murphy-launches-initiative-increase-diversity-behind-the-lens