Ryan Murphy reveals that the new season of American Horror Story will share the tale of the past election although there won’t be a President Donald Trump character. After years of being in the industry, the 52-year-old has decided to further use his shows as avenues for key societal issues.
He told The Hollywood Reporter that the show would highlight several perspectives of the recently concluded political event which divided the country into two. Following the election’s outcome, Murphy got inspired to focus more on real-life characters. One example is the decision to add a Monica Lewinsky character to American Crime Story.
“What needs to happen in our country now is for people to listen to each other – we may not always agree with each other and we may be horrified by what the other side is doing but we have to move toward understanding.”
When he appeared on Watch What Happens Live with Andy Cohen earlier this month, he was asked if American Horror Story would have a Trump character. He responded, “Uh, maybe.”
However, when he went to the Publicists Guild Awards on Friday to receive the Television Showmanship of the Year Award, he clarified his answer. “The themes of American Horror Story have always been allegories. You will not see Trump and Clinton as characters on the show,” he said.
It remains unknown how the famed horror show will use the theme. It could be the main story of the new season or a mere backdrop. The show is expected to premiere in September.
Through his work, Murphy aspires to give strength to people who are unable to use their voices.
“So that’s one example of what I’m going to do. And then all of the stuff that I’m developing now is going to be about illuminating and highlighting people who don’t have a voice in our culture — people who are ignored by the current administration and who are afraid and feel terrorized that their lives are going to be taken away. I’m interested not just in writing about those people but also in using my financial means to give back to them as well.”
Last year, he similarly launched the Half project within his production company. It aims to make Hollywood more inclusive by letting women and minorities land directorial positions. As its name suggests, Half’s goal is to fill 50 percent of the company’s director slots for shows like Scream Queens, American Crime Story, and American Horror Story with women, people of color, and LGBT community members.
He talked about being moved by Nanci Ryder’s speech at The Hollywood Reporter’s Women in Entertainment event. She urged industry movers to focus on its “gender problem.” Upon hearing the speech, Murphy realized that he “personally can do better.”
“Nanci said, ‘People in power, you have a position and responsibility to change the industry,’ and I thought, ‘She’s right,'” Murphy recalled.
Since starting the project, they have received more than 650 applications from people who want to make a difference through their craft. Murphy hopes that other production companies will also challenge the status quo.
Some of the names Murphy is eyeing to help Half’s mission include Nina Jacobson, Ali Adler, Dede Gardner, and American Crime Story director Anthony Hemingway.
He plans to compile the names and contact information of aspiring directors in a database. Half will then share the said information to other showrunners.
Furthermore, Half will be more active in reaching out to universities. The foundation will provide internships and shadowing opportunities for students who want to join the industry after graduating. Through this initiative, Murphy wants young people to know that they are welcome in Hollywood.
[Featured Image by Kevin Winter/Getty Images]