On the same day that schools chancellor Joel Klein resigned, one New York City public school got some assistance from a most unexpected source: the TV show Glee. Ryan Murphy, the hit show’s creator, announced Tuesday night that Glee would provide funding for a “job readiness” counselor at the Hetrick-Martin Institute, which helps run the Harvey Milk High School. The job had been eliminated owing to budget cuts at the institute, which serves lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender youth. Murphy made the announcement while at the group’s annual Emery Awards, where he was honored. In addition, he announced that the show will provide $25,000 in matching scholarship funds for the school, and though at this time Murphy “can neither confirm nor deny” whether there will be a Glee tour this year, should there be, he pledged to collect funds from concertgoers to donate to the school.
Murphy had taken a tour of the school during the day, and said he was so moved and inspired that he decided to make these gestures as a payback for Glee’s success. “I really wanted to do something to thank all of you for your support of Glee over the past year. You’ve bought like 15 million songs, that’s pretty amazing,” he told the crowd at Cipriani Wall Street. (Last night’s a cappella version of Katy Perry’s “Teenage Dream,” he said, was the “best-selling song ever in the history of the show.” And, Murphy pointed out, “the remarkable thing about that song is it’s the first time on network television that your love song is sung by two teenage boys.)
It was Murphy’s birthday, and he was serenaded onstage by Glee star Matthew Morrison at the event. The previous evening at the Glamour Women of the Year Awards, Eat Pray Love star Julia Roberts had also led the audience in a round of “Happy Birthday.” “I was, like, eight shades of eggplant,” Murphy told us. “It was very funny.”
Update: This post was updated to clarify where Murphy’s donation is headed.