Talking to EW, he says, “They never got me and they kept trying to turn me into something else. And they were very homophobic even though they would have gay characters on the air… They would give me notes, like, ‘The Mary Cherry character, like, could she be less gay?’ Like, it was very relentlessly homophobic. It was rough and I didn’t have a good experience with the studio and everybody.”
The show aired on The WB network, which at the time (1999-2001) was seen as one of the LGBT friendly channels thanks to the likes of Dawson’s Creek. The show itself followed two high school girls who hate one another, but are forced together when their parents decide to marry.
An unidentified source who was at The WB at the time, responded to Murphy’s comments saying, “We absolutely loved Ryan personally and were bewitched by his incredibly unique voice. I am crestfallen to learn that he wasn’t comfortable during that time and worst of all that he considered us homophobic. While I thought our relationship with Ryan was strong both during and well after Popular, nobody should feel the way he felt and if we were unwittingly responsible for that to any degree I’m deeply saddened.”