Ryan Murphy Slams WB For Homophobia During Filming Of Popular

Photo: Jim Smeal/REX/Shutterstock.
Ryan Murphy is known for bringing stories about compelling gay characters to the small screen, from Kurt and Blaine on Glee to Ned Weeks in Murphy's television adaptation of Larry Kramer's The Normal Heart. But when the American Horror Story creator wrote LGBT characters into his first show, Popular, The WB had some offensive feedback.

“They would give me notes, like, ‘The Mary Cherry character, like, could she be less gay?’" Murphy recently told Entertainment Weekly. "Like, it was very relentlessly homophobic. It was rough, and I didn’t have a good experience with the studio and everybody.”

Popular, a show about two rival high school students who become stepsisters, ran for two seasons on The WB from 1999-2001. During that period, a few notable WB shows actually featured prominent gay characters, including Buffy the Vampire Slayer's Willow and Dawson's Creek's Jack. Still, the series' portrayals of same-sex couples have been criticized for being more chaste than those of heterosexual pairings. (Willow, for example, didn't get a sex scene with a female partner until the show moved to UPN.)

It's frustrating to learn that Murphy had to deal with homophobia early in his career, but his success has more than proven that audiences want to see fully formed, complex LGBT characters on screen.
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