Ryan Murphy’s Half Initiative Sees More Women, People of Color Behind the Camera

Ryan Murphy Television hires 60 percent more women directors — 94 percent meet the “minority requirement”

Ryan Murphy
Getty Images

“American Horror Story” showrunner Ryan Murphy‘s initiative to get more women and other minority groups behind the camera has seen some progress.

According to FX, less than one year after launching, Murphy’s Half Foundation initiative has hired significantly more women and people of color at Ryan Murphy Television. Ryan Murphy Television has hired 60 percent more women directors, for example, while 94 percent met of the directors met were women, people of color, and LGBTQ+ individuals.

On his Emmy-nominated show “Feud,” three women are listed as directors on IMDB: Gwyneth Horder-Payton, Helen Hunt and Liza Johnson.

As for the network itself, Murphy had been working with John Landgraf, president and general manager, to increase the number of women and people of color there too. In this regard, the amount of female directors increased from 12 percent in 2015 to 51 percent in 2016. According to an earlier press release, Murphy has succeeded in staffing 60 percent of his shows with women directors and directors of color.

“I love looking around my company and empowering inclusion in all departments” Murphy said in a statement. “I recently led a production meeting and was proud to see that more than half of the people sitting at the table were women and minorities. That’s the way it should be.”

Half also launched a Directing Mentorship Program for emerging behind-the-scenes workers. The program had 29 participants in 2016 and added 30 in 2017. Out of that program, three directed episodes on Murphy productions.

The Half Foundation recently launched Half Fest at the Skirball Cultural Center in Los Angeles, which hopes to “welcome people of all communities and generations to participate in cultural experiences that celebrate discovery and hope, foster human connections, and call upon us to help build a more just society.” That free event will be held on Aug. 26-27 and attendees will be able to watch short films by Half mentees.

Murphy’s next projects include the seventh season of “American Horror Story” and the second season of “American Crime Story,” which will chronicle the murder of Gianni Versace.