Half has hired 60% women directors for Murphy’s television slate in its first year.

Ryan Murphy

In less than a year since Ryan Murphy launched Half to create more directing opportunities for women and minorities, the TV mogul said his director slate has hired 60% women, of whom 94% met its minority requirement. 

In collaboration with John Landgraf and FX Networks, the director slate significantly increased from 12% female-diverse directors in 2015 to 51% in 2016 for the network as a whole. 

There are women and minority department heads, as well as an all-female art department.

Half launched a Directing Mentorship Programme in which every director on every Ryan Murphy Television production mentors emerging directors from pre-production through post-production, and offers a “significant” stipend.

The Directing Mentorship Programme drew 29 participants in 2016 and has added 30 in 2017, providing more than $200,000 in financial aid. Three participants became first-time episodic directors through the programme.

Half has collaborated with Los Angeles mayor Eric Garcetti on creating an internship programme to create creative pathways for under-represented youth in conjunction with the California Film Commission. 

Murphy recently joined Mayor Garcetti’s advisory board on the Entertainment Inclusion Fund.

Half will be launching Half Fest at LA’s Skirball Cultural Center whose mission is to “welcome people of all communities and generations to participate in cultural experiences that celebrate discovery and hope, foster human connections, and call upon us to help build a more just society.” 

Half Fest’s goal is to showcase its participants in the Director Mentorship Programme so that the industry can engage with diverse storytellers.

Murphy said: “I love looking around my company and empowering inclusion in all departments. I recently led a production meeting and was proud to see that more than half of the people sitting at the table were women and minorities. That’s the way it should be.

“I want to mentor and sponsor these emerging directors as storytelling continues to move forward and so should the storytellers.”