9 May 2018, 12:40
The show, called “Consent”, would be made in the style of ‘Black Mirror’, apparently…
Ryan Murphy has his fingers in a whole lot of pies. He’s responsible for a lot of our favourite shows, like Glee, Scream Queens and Nip/Tuck, and is known for his anthology series American Horror Story and American Crime Story, both of which created a new template for television. His shows are often aesthetically over the top, graphically violent, with a silly, humorous tone – which is why he seems like an odd fit for his next idea.
Murphy has a new deal with Netflix, and with it, he wants to work on a show called “Consent” about #MeToo. #MeToo, which began with the outing of Harvey Weinstein in October, uncovered hundreds of stories of women’s trauma at the hands of men in media, film, television, and other industries. It’s still very much a fresh wound – which hasn’t been at all fixed or healed, bar the likely temporary ostracisation of some of the men involved – and would need handling very, very delicately.
The show apparently would follow a Black Mirror model, with every episode exploring a new story rather than every season. In a profile by the New Yorker, Murphy says there would be a Weinstein episode, one about Kevin Spacey, and one about “an ambiguous he-said-she-said encounter”. It would have different creators and writers for every episode, and reportedly, there would be diverse teams.
every time Ryan Murphy does this, which he has been doing on a yearly basis since literally 1999, y’all act like it’s new. He sucks w/2 things, race & feminism, which are ironically the only 2 things he (for some reason) feels fully qualified to write about. see you next year
— Incel & Sebastian (@jacobtwop) May 8, 2018
Speaking to Emily Nussbaum about his plans, Murphy also discussed his regret at handling rape scenes in earlier seasons of American Horror Story insensitively. He said that becoming a father changed his approach, adding: “I just don’t want to put that in the world”. While it’s positive that he’s clearly reconsidered the things that he’s been criticised for – poor handling of stories involving women, sexual violence, and race. He also, reportedly, had second thoughts about doing a season of American Crime Story about Monica Lewinsky after actually meeting her. That season of the show has now been scrapped.
While Murphy could well handle this issue delicately, it’s still very much a brand new subject and very traumatic for a lot of people to discuss and revisit. It’s fair for people to be sceptical, too, considering his usual aesthetic and approach to tone – but if it ever comes through (it seems unlikely with the massive legal issues), we’ll just have to wait and see how it pans out.