Ryan Murphy says The WB network was ‘very homophobic’ during making of ‘Popular’

Joseph McCormick September 26, 2016
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Actors Sarah Paulson and Ryan Murphy attend an Emmy afterparty.

Sarah Paulson and Ryan Murphy have worked together on a number of award-winning projects. (Emma McIntyre/Getty)

Glee and American Horror Story creator Ryan Murphy has spoken of working with The WB network on his first show Popular, saying they were “very homophobic”.

Murphy pitched Popular to four networks, including The WB, and decided to go with the latter, he tells Entertainment Weekly.


But he said that working with the network became a “miserable experience”, and that he constantly had to fight against executives around the content of the show.

He says: “They never got me and they kept trying to turn me into something else. And they were very homophobic even though they would have gay characters on the air.”

“They would give me notes, like, ‘The Mary Cherry character, like, could she be less gay?’ Like, it was very relentlessly homophobic.’ It was rough and I didn’t have a good experience with the studio and everybody,” he continued.

Going on, Murphy says: “You know in the first year they really left me alone and they hadn’t meddled with me yet.”

“And in the second year it was like us and Roswell and they thought it could be a hit. So I remember getting notes, like, ‘Can this character get cancer?’ I’m like, ‘OK.’ But I wanted it to work so I did the notes and thus I ended up jeopardising my own sensibility and it got cancelled after year two. But it was a really important experience for me because what I learned is follow your gut, listen to your voice, and if they don’t want your voice, they don’t want you.”

Murphy in February said he planned to diversify his team of directors by the end of this year.

The Glee creator in June united a host of A-List stars in a touching tribute to honour the victims of the mass shooting in Orlando.

More: American Horror Story, Glee, Ryan Murphy

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