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Ryan Murphy Explains Why His Work Is So Vital to Hollywood in Message

Ryan Murphy

Murphy was celebrating his record setting six projects nominated for GLAAD Media Awards.

The nominees for the 32 Annual GLAAD Media Awards were announced yesterday, and among the amazing shows and movies getting love, six are Ryan Murphy projects making him one of the main contenders to bring awards home.

Murphy celebrated the nominations and acknowledged the magnitude of the nominations on his Instagram. "I was so thrilled this morning when GLAAD announced their annual awards nominees for 2020, and my company received a record six nominations," he wrote.

Murphy's nominations this year were for The Prom, Boys in the Band, Ratched, Hollywood, Circus of Books on Netflix, and 9-1-1: Lone Star on Fox.

"I started off in this business exactly 25 years ago," Murphy continued. "At that time in the mid-90s I was told I couldn't even have an LGBTQ character represented in my work. Too controversial, it might turn off advertisers, etc." He says he was even warned that having a straight female character (Mary Cherry in Popular) wearing a fake fur coat was "just too gay."

But Murphy didn't let those early hurdles stop him. "I persisted and fought and had the support of so many allies and wow have things changed. In the past year alone, my company has not only created content that has shined a spotlight on hundreds of LGBTQ characters, but we have employed hundreds of out LGBTQ actors; who as little as five years ago would probably have been advised that being authentically who they were meant no more jobs (and thus no rent or food or health insurance)."

Notably, last year Murphy's version of Boys in the Band featured out actors starting in gay roles.

The recent GLAAD 2020-2021 TV report found that nearly one in five LGBTQ+ characters on TV appear on a series that comes from either Murphy, Shonda Rhimes, Greg Berlanti, or Lena Waithe. Last year, the report found that 14 percent of all LGBTQ+ characters were on shows by those creators, and this year, that number went up to 17 percent, representing 62 of 360 characters across the creators' 16 series.

Murphy said that to him, the nominations represent progress. "I truly believe this work is changing lives, and saving lives" he wrote. "If you can see it, you can be it."

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