Ryan Murphy made headlines on Feb. 16, when during an appearance on Watch What Happens Live with Andy Cohen, he revealed that the next season of American Horror Story would center around the defeat of Hillary Clinton by Donald Trump in the election.
The news launched a thousand dreamcasts. But while accepting the award for Television Showman of the Year at the 4th annual ICG Publicists Awards Luncheon in Los Angeles on Friday, Murphy clarified that while the 2016 presidential election might be the theme, viewers won’t necessarily see its main players as characters.
“I said that American Horror Story’s season 7 was going to be about the election. Now did I mean this literally? No,” Murphy told the crowd at the Beverly Hilton Hotel. “The themes of American Horror Story have always been allegory. We’ll not see Trump or Clinton as characters on the show.”
Still, Murphy joked that one person might change his mind. “Now as I look at Sarah Paulson, I think of Kellyanne Conway,” he said, referring his longtime collaborator who presented him with his award Friday night. “I might be rewriting!”
So why did he spill the beans about the AHS theme in the first place? “I went on [WWHL] and they gave me three martinis in 20 minutes,” he said. “Many people who know me know that’s not good! That’s not good!”
Elsewhere in his speech, Murphy talked about the Half Foundation, which he formed last year with boss and mentor Dana Walden. The foundation’s mission is to make 50 percent of the directorial slots in Murphy’s company filled by women — and 50 percent of the crews employed by women, gay people, gay people of color and trans people.
“I thought we’d be lucky and honored to get 10 maybe 20 applicants in a year, because we only had 25 slots. But, in the past two months alone, 650 women have applied for spots,” Murphy said. “That is shameful to me in some way, because that just shows the heartbreaking number of individuals who are struggling for recognition in our world and in our industry. They are not being heard and they are not being utilized and I want to, in my life, help them as much as I can.”
“I realize that for me now, this is a new form of showmanship and one I am willing to embrace,” Murphy added. “We want our children to grow up in a more loving and embracing world than the one we grew up in.”
- With reporting by ALEXIA FERNANDEZ