In a fiery and inspiring speech at the VH1 Trailblazer Honors, Ryan Murphy highlighted the presence of strong women throughout his successful career as a creator.
“I honestly believe my career was made and created and carved by women… strong women,” Ryan Murphy revealed as he accepted his award at the VH1 Trailblazer Honors in NYC. “Women were always my champions and mentors for 20 years now, and I believe that’s because they deeply related to and understood my struggle. They got it. They know what it’s like to be an outsider, and they supported me because they inherently understood the idea, and struggle, and ultimate joy of championing the ideals and sentiments of those without cultural power.” Ryan’s stunning dedication to the women in his life comes at a time when women, the LGBTQ community, immigrants and more underrepresented groups feel somewhat hopeless and concerned for their futures.
The American Horror Story creator had a response to those who feel like that don’t belong, or that they’re under-appreciated for the work they can provide. “For me now, it’s all about giving women and minorities, and the ‘others’ like myself, opportunities and a champion,” the trailblazer said. Ryan founded the Half Initiative, in which 50% of all the directorial slots in his production company would be filled by women. “I wanted to create opportunities and new leaders in their honor, and to somehow pay them back,” he explained. “It’s not just good business, it’s fair and it’s right and it’s time. And also, women are just better.”
His initiative exceeded the 50% goal — currently, 60% of all the director slots at Ryan Murphy Productions are filled by women. “Over 750 women will apply for slots in the Half Initiative, which is a number that expressly tells you we have a huge amount of people who want to be a part of this business, and this environment. They want to change it, and they do not have a way in. We need to help them.” Ryan’s speech was both educating and inspiring, providing hope in a time of what feels like everlasting darkness, and cementing his status as a true trailblazer.