Glee Drama

Ryan Murphy Admits to 'Infighting' on the Glee Set: 'We All Got Too Personal'

Much has been said about Glee‘s behind-the-scenes drama recently — thanks largely to the release of star Naya Rivera’s blunt memoir — but a new interview with co-creator Ryan Murphy puts it all into perspective.

“There was a lot of infighting,” Murphy admits to Entertainment Weekly. “There was a lot of people sleeping together and breaking up. It was good training for being a parent, I’ll tell you that much.”

He continues, “But I also made a mistake: We all got too personal. We loved it so much that we would all go out to dinner and we’d hang out and we were always together, so there was no delineation between who was the boss and who was the employee. And we were all so close that finally when something would happen, it would be so personal to me that I would literally hit the roof.”

Murphy also discusses the loss of Cory Monteith — who died of a drug overdose in July 2013, during the show’s fourth season — and how that changed the entire theme of the series.

“What started off as being such a great celebration of love and acceptance ultimately became about darkness and death,” Murphy says, adding that the show was a “great lesson in what not to do moving forward. And many of [the cast members] are my good friends to this day.”

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35 Comments
  1. Kay says:

    “There was a lot of people sleeping together and breaking up. It was good training for being a parent, I’ll tell you that much.”

    Wait, what?

  2. Brandon says:

    July 2016?

  3. Wordsmith says:

    “Literally hit the roof”?
    Come on, Murphy, you’re a professional writer…
    (Unless there are actual fist marks on shingles someplace, in which case I apologize for the sarcasm)

    • Morgan says:

      Thank you.

    • TV Gord says:

      He also said, “There was a lot of people sleeping together…”, instead of “There were…”, so he had already figuratively lost me at that point. ;-)

    • mooshki says:

      “Webster’s first definition of literally is, “in a literal sense or matter; actually.” Its second definition is, “in effect; virtually.” In addressing this seeming contradiction, its authors comment:

      “’Since some people take sense 2 to be the opposition of sense 1, it has been frequently criticized as a misuse. Instead, the use is pure hyperbole intended to gain emphasis, but it often appears in contexts where no additional emphasis is necessary.'”

  4. Tony says:

    I read a bit more on his helping Lea Michele after Corey Monteith’s death. Maybe its taken out of context. But it sounded like he gave her the decision in whether or not to continue to show. Which is another reason, in my opinion, the show was doomed.

    • Charissa29 says:

      That sounds like a lovely, humane way to proceed. Didn’t Cory die like a week before production began?

      • Whispers says:

        Yep, he did. He was due back in Los Angeles the day they found him (or a day after that, not sure on that but it was one of those days). That also resulted in them trimming it to 20 episodes since they lost like 2 or 3 weeks of production time and couldn’t fulfill the 22 episode limit.

  5. MrMank says:

    Anybody who actually gives a crap, raise your hand!!!

  6. A fan of TV says:

    Shows about high schools routinely are like high schools behind the scenes. He’s so spot on about the death of Cory, too. Glee was a happy show, and Cory’s sad, sad death took the wind right out of those sails. I couldn’t bear to watch it without him.

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  8. kirads09 says:

    Just when I thought we were safe from any more Glee articles.

    • Gospino says:

      This is TV Line. You will never be safe from Glee articles here.

      • dumomt says:

        This is a website devoted to TELEVISION – all sorts of television shows. If you don’t like a particular television show, then skip the article. If it seems to be a neurosis you have, then move on.

  9. Eva says:

    It was a huge cast consisting of teenagers and young adults, how could there NOT be drama and fighting? Seriously, stop believing tv people who say everyone on set is their friend and ask yourselves a question: am I besties with all my coworkers?

  10. TVLineCommentator says:

    wait, they all slept with each other? but in the show they waited… :'(

  11. Nero tTVfiddler says:

    I like RM’s quote and I think it applies to many business situations, inside and beyond the entertainment field:

    “We loved it so much that we would all go out to dinner and we’d hang out and we were always together, so there was no delineation between who was the boss and who was the employee. ”

    That can happen in an organization of most any size – maybe too much team building. Lessons learned. Glee was a unique show and experience for RM, cast/crew, and certainly the audience. Sometimes shows shine brightly, and then they burn out.

    RIP Glee.