Ryan Murphy Was Thinking About Making a Black Mirror-Style Show About #MeToo


Ryan Murphy, the writer/producer/multi-hyphenate behind Glee and pretty much every show on FX (American Horror Story, American Crime Story, Feud), got a lengthy profile in The New Yorker titled “How Ryan Murphy Became the Most Powerful Man in TV.” It might as well have been called something about how Murphy is the busiest man in the industry, given all the shows he’s worked on and is currently cooking up.

Now that he’s left the world of network television for the grassy, venture capital-funded pastures at Netflix, Murphy is wrapping up his last FX show (Pose, about 1980s ball culture), reconsidering his Monica Lewinsky season of ACS, and he’s been tasked with creating more LGBT content at Netflix. He’s also thinking about—maybe, possibly—creating a series about the #MeToo movement. Towards the end of the profile, we get this:

The show would be called “Consent”—potentially, a new “American Crime Story.” It would follow a “Black Mirror” model: every episode would explore a different story, starting with an insidery account of the Weinstein Company. There would be an episode about Kevin Spacey, one about an ambiguous he-said-she-said encounter. Each episode could have a different creator.

If it does happen, it probably won’t be anytime soon. The idea came to Murphy, according to the profile, after he left FX but before he was fully set up at Netflix. Would it be any good? Murphy—it’s made abundantly clear in this profile—has been deliberate about including gay, trans, and queer voices in his TV shows. If he helmed a project inspired by the outing of many famous and powerful men, it’s likely to have an inclusive writers’ room. But that might actually be the sticky territory: if Consent were informed by the real-life experiences of sexual abuse survivors, would the show risk exploiting those writers, asking for them to relive traumatic periods of their lives and channel that into something digestible for Netflix’s audiences? Is it possible, also, that it’s, quite frankly, too soon for a show about something we’re clearly still in the middle of? These would be my concerns, but also, who knows?

If it doesn’t work out, Murphy also said he’s collaborating with Gwyneth Paltrow in the “wellness” space and exploring making documentaries—and I, for one, hope those two are somehow related.

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