US Weekly: Glee creator Ryan Murphy wages psychological war on the castmembers

We’ve heard plenty of negative things about Glee creator Ryan Murphy. He’s gotten in Twitter fights with artists over using their songs on the show, he’s announced to the press that cast members are off the show before bothering to tell them about it (another producer later tried to backtrack and cover for him) and we’ve heard multiple stories that the cast is seriously overworked. US Weekly has a new story detailing the psychological war that Murphy wages on set, and it’s frankly a little chilling. He uses some pretty draconian tactics to try and keep castmembers in line. The one may be the scariest, though: he allegedly asked Lea Michelle which of her friends she wanted him to fire after she told him she didn’t want to do the Glee tour. Also, you know how Dianna Agron’s character, Quinn Fabray, became a punk this season and started rebelling against everything? That’s because Agron dared to try and give Murphy some insight into where she thought her character should go. He put her in her place and created yet another implausible story line while making her character totally unlikable.

“Things are really bad on [the] set [of Glee],” says a show source. “The cast talks about how much they love Ryan, but they have grown to hate him.” Seconds another, “He has bad mood swings and can be really mean…”

“The 16 hour days are a bit rough,” Harry Shum Jr., 29, who plays Mike Chang, admits to US…

“Production is a mess,” explains the source. “They’re so behind schedule.”

In a Rachel-Berry-esque move, Michele, 25, is taking action. “The cast has been speaking about banding together against him, and Lea is taking the charge,” says the source.

When a frustrated Dianna Agron, 25, tried to offer Murphy some plot suggestions for her character, Quinn Fabray, he retaliated by making her character utterly unlikable. “That’s standard operating procedure for him,” says an actor who has worked with Murphy in the past…

Murphy is also willing to simply let cast members go. WHen Michele told him she didn’t want to go on the cast’s 2011 multicity summer tour (for which they had only four days to rehearse!), the threatened to axe one of her pals. “He asked her which of her friends she wanted him to fire,” says an insider… His implied target: powerhouse vocalist Amber Riley, “because she’s one of the Lea’s closest friends.”

[From US Weekly, print edition, December 19, 2011]

Michele’s rep denies these claims, but they have Harry Shum on the record and then they attribute the negative stuff to a “source.” How much do you want to bet Shum is going to see his character marginalized or axed after this?

What an a**hole this guy is. He couldn’t fire the lead actress so he threatened her by giving her the Sophie’s Choice of which one of her best buddies he would fire if she didn’t get in line. That’s outrageous. I don’t like Lea Michele at all, but that’s totally uncalled for. What’s more is that this story is actually making me admire her a little bit. She may be a diva and a pain, but if she’s trying to work with her co-workers to keep her evil boss in line, more power to her.

Oh and Murphy hates Kristin Chenoweth too. US writes that he “blew up at [Chenoweth] last season when she couldn’t appear on an episode due to a preexisting theater commitment.” A source tells US ‘Ryan said she would never work on a project of his again.'”

Can you imagine how it is on the “American Horror Story” set? I bet he’s not as mean of a mofo, considering he’s working with seasoned adult actors he can’t bully as effectively. He’s probably a petty jerk, though.

These photos are from the American Horror Story premiere on 10/3/11 and from the Peabody Awards on 5/17/10. Murphy is also shown on 8/6/11 at the Glee concert movie premiere. Credit:

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43 Responses to “US Weekly: Glee creator Ryan Murphy wages psychological war on the castmembers”

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  1. KMD says:

    That sounds awful! I hope that Leah and everyone bands together. Where are the other producers? Someone needs to control this man.

  2. Eve says:

    The more I read about this prick, the more I LOATHE him and everything he produces/directs.

    I try my best to boycott everything he’s involved with. However, I won’t be able to do that when Mark Ruffalo’s movie (I think it’s called “The Normal Heart”) comes out because he’s a great actor and an absolutely decent human being therefore he has always deserved my full support.

  3. Gine says:

    He’s the worst. And all his shows are terrible–all the women are portrayed as pathetic, unstable bitches and the few non-white characters are treated like props.

    • lee says:

      Seriously agreed. I still watch glee because I love Santana, but after that atrocious ‘I Kissed a Girl’ episode which was so offensive as both a woman and a lesbian, I don’t know if I can put up with his shit anymore.

      I mean, they have a seasoned lesbian writer on staff now, yet they have some random new guy write the episode, they don’t let Santana’s girlfriend have any role in her story line, they gloss over almost her entire coming out process to her parents, and they MAKE FINN THE HERO?? after he outed her? not to mention, for an episode that was supposed to focus on the girls, why did they have to make all of the guys the saviors? even Puck was the hero for Quinn.

      And Katy Perry? singing about making out for male attention? as a way of rebutting the douche who basically reduced Santana’s sexuality to exactly what that song is about? In what world does that make sense?

      I just can’t with this shit anymore. Ryan Murphy is such an asshole.


      sorry, I realize this was just about RM. but that shit’s been bothering me for over a week.

  4. LisaMarie says:

    This makes me glad I stopped watching after the first season. This guy is toxic.

    • Zay says:

      Amen to that sister.

    • Vanden says:

      Ditto! some of the characters became sooo unlikeable. Now it seems it was probably cos the actors made the mistake of thinking he gave a damn about their creative input

    • Carolyn says:

      Murphy’s appearances on The Glee Project competition show demonstrated that not is all OK with him. It put him in a bad light. Agree with other bloggers in thinking he’s horrible for treating young adults like this. Glee jumped the shark a long time ago because of his egomaniac dictatorial tendencies. Jerk.

    • Moonbeamz says:

      I knew he was toxic the moment he bitched out musicians that wouldn’t let glee sing their songs (i think it was kings of leon??) A move like that just shows that he is utterly graceless.

  5. Jennika says:

    God what asshole. Anyone watch American Horror last night?

  6. A fan says:

    I can only imagine.

    Have you seen some of these poor actors out and about?

    Darren Criss always has a lively attitude, but the poor kid looks like he’s going to fall over soon if they keep working him like they do.

    I’ve heard stories about drug problems on set as well.

  7. Nikkers says:

    Yeah, I’m pretty sure Jessica Lange would bitch slap him pretty fast if he tried to pull those moves on that set.

    • Faye says:

      I was just about to comment that! I wouldn’t eff with Jessica Lange, and I definitely wouldn’t eff with her character on the show. Constance will mess you up. 🙂

    • dj says:

      Please, please try that crap with Jessica Lange. She would eat him for lunch…then Sam Shepard would have a go! Punk.

  8. Laurie M. says:

    Murphy thinks Glee will always be an amazing and number one show. He should know that shows popularity is fleeting. And not everyone on earth praised the ground he walks on (case in point, the musical talent that has turned him down).

    • GoodCapon says:

      I am amazed that the show is on its third season now actually. But I’ve read articles that it has jumped the shark and has gone downhill, so who knows how long the show will continue.

  9. Tapioca says:

    Could any of you name any of the cast of Glee (except maybe Jane Lynch) before the show?

    There’s a difference between bullying the office junior and cracking the whip to keep a bunch of actors’ egos in check, especially when you created the little monsters in the first place. If the cast members as talented as (some of them seem to think) they are, they’ll get snapped up by other projects without giving Ryan a backward glance.

    We all know what coddling the performing monkeys results in – Charlie Sheen on $1.8m an episode and too unstable to even do that!

    • Starla says:

      See, I would agree with you. But then you read about his very public feuds with artists for not allowing him to use their music. He seems like a pompous ass and HE is now his very own monster. Your show was a success, great, but calm down.

  10. Kaboom says:

    I doubt the next season will be much to write home about. Storylines, characters and musical numbers are all over the place already and with some of the main characters phasing out the whole thing goes completely off the road.

    • Terry Jackson says:

      OR all of those changes will be the shot in the arm that any show needs in its fourth season (and again – if it’s still in production – at the start of its seventh).

      Anyway, creating and running a show is hard work. It’s stressful. Everybody has expectations. The network. The viewers. The advertisers. The tabloids. And people in comment sections on blogs such as this who don’t even watch the show but are somewhat up to speed as to what is trending on Twitter.

      The fact is that Ryan Murphy has created more than just Glee. And his attitude hasn’t caused him any problems… nor should it. Show business is harder than any other you can name. Talent is important, but not nearly as important as having thick skin and being as tough as nails.

  11. paranormalgirl says:

    Like Kristen Chenoweth would give a rat’s ass what this little troll could threaten her with. If even half of this is true, what a vile individual Ryan Murphy is.

  12. lucy2 says:

    Glad I stopped watching too (along with many others, their ratings have really dropped). And since AHS is losing steam, I’ll probably drop that after this season too.
    This guy is a raging jerk, it seems, and I’m willing to believe a good portion of this story.
    And don’t mess with Chenoweth! I remember he kept saying he was going to develop a show for her, and then nothing happened and she’s going to be on something else. Probably for the best for her, who’d want to work with that guy?

    • sassenach says:

      I agree. He really had a chance to do something interesting with American Horror Story but like always he turns everything campy. He did it with Nip Tuck, Glee and AHS is too campy and stupid for words. He is a horrible writer.

  13. ann carter says:

    Look at the second picture of him from the top..with the cast. I believe that picture speaks volumes and explains all we need to know about him.

    • Eve says:

      His smug face while everybody else looks somewhat uncomfortable, like they’re smelling a fart? Yes, I noticed that too.

  14. sparkle.burnout says:

    Isn’t he bffs with Goop?

  15. Iggles says:

    Ugh! He is such a douche!

    Couldn’t stand him every since he attacked the Kings Of Leon for not letting him use their songs!

    I totally believe this report. He’s an egomaniac. Glee was good for the first half of season 1 and got progressively worst after that! Haven’t seen it in over a year and I don’t care to!

    • Havik says:

      I agree! I never watched Glee (or knew who any of them were) before Murphy went psycho on the Kings of Leon.

      Completely undeserved, too! So what if they don’t want their songs used? It’s not like Murphy has a God-given right to them. What an arse.

  16. LeeLoo says:

    Well if there wasn’t already a reason to boycott Glee now it is unavoidable.

  17. EmmaStoneWannabe says:

    Wow I am officially over Glee now..I’ve kind of ignored watching it this season anyway, but now it’s over. Hate this guy! These high school actors are grown adults in their mid and late twenties for crying out loud! They should be able to stand up and not “get in line.” Payback’s a b*tch and Ryan will deserve every bit of it.

  18. GirlyGirl says:

    What exactly is the big deal about this guy anyway?

    Glee is unwatchable and American Horror Story looks like someone took a dump on the screen


  19. Embee says:

    What a preening asshole.

  20. Denise says:

    Who is he?? What a ridiculous mofo.

  21. Jover says:

    Laurie m good capon and others there was an article in a recent USA today stating that Glee’s audience viewing had dropped off something like 20-28% this year – if RM thinks a viewer fall-off like that will keep him on the air, he’s dreamy – I’ll bet its cancelled midway through season 4. Watched the first 10-12 episodes then gave it up.

  22. Kim says:

    He’ll be the demise of the show. He is a nut.

  23. Haystacks says:

    Glee has been winding down regardless. I hope most of the kids get out of their contracts and move on after this season. Their music is starting to suck, and that is the number one driver of the show — god knows the story line isn’t it.

  24. Mourning the Death of Music says:

    Could you just imagine him even remotely trying to get his bitch on to Jessica Lange? HA!

  25. Marianne says:

    Ryan Murphy is a douche. But I still like watching Glee. Although no its not quite like the first season. It really feels some days like you have to watch 2 bad eps to get to one amazing ep. But I still like the characters, and I like hearing the songs.

  26. Baroness says:

    U have to be tough to control a bunch of 20 year old actors. If it wasn’t for Ryan Murphy all these little pukes would still be trolling the streets auditioning for various sitcoms that are doomed to failure. Give the guy credit, he may be a hard ass but I doubt his shows would have reached their current level of success if he listened to every inexperienced cast members suggestion. All these actors should be kissing his ass, they would be nowhere if it wasn’t for him

  27. Izzy says:

    I know I’m late to posting for this, but I just have to chime in. I was disgusted with Ryan Murphy for the way he behaved about artists who did not want their work used for Glee. Murphy seems to have missed the main point of the laws that protect artists – the laws protect the ART, which is the property of the artist! I wonder if Murphy would be such a douchebag toward someone who didn’t want to let them shoot an ep at a private residence…

  28. Adagietta says:

    sounds like sue