Alim Kheraj
Updated Mar 03, 2017 @ 2:57 am
Credit: Tommaso Boddi/WireImage

American Horror Story and American Crime Story showrunner Ryan Murphy has opened up about the homophobia he experienced early in his career in TV, and it’s so upsetting.

Given his ubiquitousness on TV now, you’d never think now that Ryan Murphy would have come up against any sort of difficulties in his illustrious career. The TV producer has had hits with shows like Glee, Nip/Tuck, the incredible American Horror Story, American Crime Story, and now his latest anthology series Feud, which focuses on the drama between Bette Davis and Joan Crawford on the set of Whatever Happened to Baby Jane? and begins this Sunday (March 5th).

Yet speaking during Todd VanDerWerff’s podcast, I Think You’re Interesting, Murphy opened up about the homophobia that he experienced when working on his first show Popular, which aired on the WB from 1999 to 2001.

Recalling the notes that he got from studio executives, Murphy recalled how he was told to tone down the flamboyance of his characters.

Continuing, Murphy told how one specific meeting stood out more than the others: a studio executive was directly homophobic to him.

Credit: Jason LaVeris/FilmMagic

Murphy has since gone on to become an LGBTQ advocate, and has championed queer visibility on TV, from his characters in AHS, Glee, and HBO movie The Normal Heart. However, it’s still disheartening and upsetting to hear of such overt and horrifying homophobia and bullying.

Luckily, it seems that things are beginning to progress for the better, with GLAAD this year noting that LGBTQ representation is at a 12 year high (although there were some discrepancies when it came to the amount of queer female characters being killed off). What’s more, Moonlight‘s historic win at the Oscars showed that diverse and stories can and should be told.

Still, as we enter uncertain socio-political times, it feels like there are more steps we could take as we go forward.