When it comes to Hollywood, it's easy to celebrate the success of out actors, such as Neil Patrick Harris and Ellen DeGeneres. Both are leading a crop of celebrities that are not letting being out be a barrier on both the big and small screens. But the real power belongs to those behind the lens.
Thanks to the likes of Ryan Murphy and Bryan Singer, there is a new breed of out producers, showrunners and filmmakers running Hollywood. The producers on this list are responsible for some of the biggest film franchises, appealing to worldwide audiences, as well as shows that have broaden the scope of LGBT characters on TV.
Glee may be drawing to a close but Ryan Murphy is showing no signs of slowing down. This year he made the film adaptation of The Normal Heart a reality on HBO, packing it full of (gay) star power and hype. Meanwhile, his other hit series, American Horror Story, is gearing up for fourth season on FX and he's producing a pilot, Open, for HBO.
Rudin may have an EGOT but it's not for lack of trying. He has produced everything from Clueless to No Country for Old Men. In the past year, he's been responsible for Captain Phillips, Inside Llewyn Davis and The Grand Budapest Hotel. Next he'll bring Steve Jobs's story to the big screen and just won the rights to the adaptation of Flash Boys, the anti-The Wolf of Wall Street.
As producer of the X-Men reboot, Singer saved a franchise from derailment. With the upcoming release of X-Men: Days of Future Past, Singer is gearing up for his largest box office yet. While his work on TV has been hit-or-miss, he was responsible for DirtySexyMoney, which gave Candis Cayne the first major TV role on a primetime series for a trans character, ultimately paving the way for Laverne Cox and Orange Is the New Black.
In just a few years she has worked with Hollywood's best directors, including David O. Russell, Spike Jonze and Kathryn Bigelow. This year, Ellison became the second person to earn two Oscar nominations for best picture in the same year. Proving that American Hustle and Her wasn't a fluke, she outbid Lionsgate for the rights to reboot the Terminator franchise and is already eyeing another Oscar win with the upcoming Foxcatcher.
While Bucatinsky may be getting more attention for his Emmy-winning role on Scandal, it's his work behind the camera that deserves recognition. Bucatinsky and his husband, writer-producer Don Roos, are behind two of Lisa Kudrow's best shows, The Comeback and Showtime's Web Therapy. While The Comeback is still working on its own revival, Web Therapy has already been renewed for a fourth season and he's working with ABC to adapt Does This Baby Make Me Look Straight?, from his parenting book of the same title.
Alongside Kevin Williamson, Berlanti is responsible for the DNA of CW's current roster of shows that blend homoerotic eye candy with addictive drama. Arrow and the upcoming The Flash have introduced superheroes to a new generation of fans while The Tomorrow People is filling the YA void in between Divergent and The Hunger Games installments.
Bradley Bredeweg & Peter Paige
As co-creators of The Fosters on ABC Family, Bredeweg and Paige are offering one of the few perspectives on life as a gay parent. "People got used to the idea of funny gay people," Paige explained to Out, "and then they got used to the idea of sexualized gay people. And now: gay families. You in? Good. We done with this conversation? Great. It was time for this show. And thank God we got to be the ones who did it." Thanks to the success of the show, they are helping at least one network to stay ahead of the curve.
While his Dawson's Creek days are far behind him, Williamson is still making hits for the CW. Williamson serves as executive producer on the network's hit series, The Vampire Diaries, and he also the creator and producer of The Following on FOX. With both shows going strong, he's one television's few producers with shows simultaneously running on multiple networks.
Michael Patrick King
King has been pivotal in altering the portrayal of gay men on TV thanks to Will & Grace and has also produced two iconic HBO shows, The Comeback and Sex and the City. Currently he's responsible for Lindsay Lohan's latest comeback attempt on CBS's 2 Broke Girls, for which he serves as writer, director and producer. But if he can get Valerie Cherish back on TV, we'll be really happy.
David Marshall Grant, Michael Lannan & Andrew Haigh
Individually, all three have been turning heads on both the small and big screens, Grant (NBC's Smash), Lannan (Interior. Leather Bar with James Franco), and Haigh (Weekend), but together the men defied expectations with HBO's Looking. With the show, they offered an alternative perspective of queer life that proved it was okay to be boring.