QueerTV: Eff You Ryan Murphy

Published January 24, 2013 by auddity

Okay, I have been a Glee fan since the beginning and have stuck with it despite its ups and downs. But I am beginning to hate Ryan Murphy. No, I loathe Ryan Murphy. Right now I am watching the Sadie Hawkins episode of Glee and the whole premise is to empower women and to make people who feel like no one will say “yes” to them put themselves out there and ask anyway. While the empowered woman in me who frequently puts herself out there is thrilled by this message, the queer in me is not amused. The Glee girls sang their invitations to the Glee men, and the first girl up was Tina. She sang to her gay friend Blaine and he promptly responded no. We come to find out it was because he was crushing on his straight friend Sam. But Sam is dating Brittany and Blaine doesn’t want to mess up their friendship, so he eventually says yes to Tina as friends.

Here’s the thing though, I get Blaine not being open to a date with a girl. Some people are decidedly gay and not open to sexual fluidity. However, Blaine did have a pretty steamy kiss with Rachel earlier in the series. Why not just try it out? See what happens? Because Ryan Murphy is as open-minded as a telephone pole. And as contradictory as Michele Bachman. Murphy can’t conceive of his prim, fashion-forward but still masculine, gay white male ever deigning to explore his sexuality, but he has no problem having his lesbian characters flying all over the sexual orientation spectrum. Brittany, who is now dating Sam, initially identified as straight until she started dating her best friend Santana. She was hesitant about embracing her lesbian identity (I would’ve actually liked to see her strongly identify as bi or pan or queer, but that is too avant garde for Murphy), but once she was comfortably settled into her sexuality and ready to be out and proud, Murphy pulled the same trick and had Brittany once again “switch teams” and date her male best friend. While this may seem like a win for sexual fluidity, I personally feel like Murphy values the sanctity of the gay experience, but doesn’t respect the lesbian experience enough to take it seriously. If Brittany could do it why couldn’t Blaine? Because Brittany’s supposed fluidity is really just for the convenience of the plot, not for the sake of alternative sexual identities.

One only has to watch a couple episodes of Murphy’s new show, The New Normal, to detect his obsession with the Great White Gay. (I only made it through a couple episodes, so don’t ask me for any recaps.) The script is teaming with racism, sexism, and classism, only thinly veiled by the, “It’s okay, we’re gay!” excuse. Just because you’re part of a minority, doesn’t give you the right to make fun of other minorities, Ryan Murphy. And it certainly doesn’t give you an “in” with them. Don’t pretend you understand what it’s like to be a person of color, or an immigrant, or a single mother; as an affluent gay white male, you still have a huge amount of privilege, especially in the current social climate.

Getting back to the Glee episode, the only other girls to sing songs were the pretty skinny girls singing to their pretty boyfriends (Kurt also asked out his hot Great White Gay new show choir director). Unique, the “transgender” character, who is consistently denied a trans storyline, did not get to sing a song or feel empowered or dance with a guy or dance with a girl, even at the end when the other girls stopped being wallflowers and asked the guys to dance. Fuck you Ryan Murphy.

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