new yorker festival

Ryan Murphy: Women in Hollywood Would Always Say ‘Ick’ or ‘Ugh’ When Harvey Weinstein’s Name Came Up

Ryan Murphy speaks onstage during the 2017 New Yorker Festival. Photo: Andrew Toth/Getty Images for The New Yorker

Though he was never privy to any “personal abuse stories,” Feud and American Horror Story creator Ryan Murphy doesn’t find the allegations of sexual misconduct against Harvey Weinstein particularly surprising. “In this society, most women have a Harvey Weinstein in their life,” Murphy told TV critic Emily Nussbaum at The New Yorker Festival. “There is always a minefield you navigate when you’re a woman and go through the system of Hollywood. Sometimes you are lucky enough to have champions or people who aren’t interested in taking advantage of you, and sometimes you do not.”

Murphy’s only personal experience with Weinstein was after the studio head called him up to say he loved The Normal Heart. He never heard any specifics, but added that he does know his “way around an Oscar-winning lady or two, and whenever he [Weinstein] would come up in conversation, there was always this ‘ick’ or ‘ugh’” type of reaction. All of the women he spoke to would say that, Murphy added. “All of them.”

He does feel, though, that systemically things are changing. “I see it every day — how men in the business used to behave and now how quickly you are slapped to the ground if you try that in a corporate environment,” Murphy said. “That’s changed radically just in the last two years.”

Ryan Murphy: Weinstein’s Name Always Made Women Say ‘Ick’