On this week’s edition of The Business with Kim Masters, Masters interviews Ryan Murphy, creator of several FX television series, including Feud, American Horror Story, and American Crime Story. About a year ago he established the Half Foundation, which stipulates that 50% of the people working on his shows or films must be either women or minorities. During the interview, Murphy primarily focused on his efforts to provide opportunities for women in the entertainment industry. He recalls his time in film and television was and still is dominated by white, straight men. His foundation also seeks to teach young women more about the process of making films and television series.
Murphy realizes that the lack of opportunities for female directors is atrocious. Murphy says, “We live in a culture of one woman at a time is allowed to have power, and that’s it. And that’s been around forever, particularly in Hollywood. So women fight for that one position. You don’t see men doing that.” Expanding upon this point, one can see this system as hindering to the creative process that film represents. Women are in an unfair competition with each other to gain the slot of “female director” while a multitude of men is in charge of the majority of entertainment. Murphy’s foundation attempts to eliminate this singular slot and offer many directorial roles to women.
Murphy’s Half Foundation is a great step towards equal opportunities for women in the film industry. There is still a lot of work to do before that goal can be achieved. More people like Murphy need to step up to the plate and make concrete strides rather than spouting off ideology. The ideology has been expressed time and time again, and now is the time for action. Filmmakers and television producers need to follow Murphy’s lead and construct similar plans that force television programs and films to be directed by women. There is talent and perspective that is being squished under the boot of male dominance.