Ryan Murphy, the creator of Glee, American Horror Story, and the new Netflix hit series Hollywood, has penned a heartfelt letter celebrating the life and contributions of the late activist and writer Larry Kramer.
“I loved working with him, his passion,” Murphy wrote in a message he posted to Instagram. “I eventually even came to love our fights.”
The pair worked together on the 2014 film version of Kramer’s The Normal Heart, the largely autobiographical play about the rise of HIV in the early 1980s and the indifference to the crisis from the government and public. Murphy directed the film from Kramer’s screenplay.
“We had a wonderful first meeting, he was kind and excited about my casting ideas — Mark Ruffalo and Julia Roberts (who would both go on to do the HBO film with us),” Murphy recalled.
Then Kramer stated his salary requirements. He wanted a million dollars for the rights to his play. When Murphy objected, the playwright had a simple response. "It's what I'm worth."
Murphy paid the million dollars and still has absolutely no regrets — the project notably also brought home a few Emmy awards.
“Larry knew the value of his work, his life, all gay people's lives — and his fundamental stubborn belief in equality for all made him perhaps the single greatest and most important gay activist of all time.”
The showrunner also revealed that the pair were set to work together again. According to the post, Murphy had recently brought the stage rights to put on Broadway productions of The Normal Heart and The Destiny of Me.
The creator of the smash Netflix hit Hollywood also noted the contributions Kramer made to the LGBTQ+ community over the years.
“His fight against government, discrimination, prejudice and big Pharma helped save millions of lives. His fight changed the health care system as we know it. I admired him above all others. He deserved the Medal of Freedom. I loved working with him, his passion.”
For those sharing his grief over the loss of such a great artist, activist, and human being, Murphy had a few simple closing words.
“Send an outraged email or tweet to a neglectful politician of your choice. He would have liked that.”