The Men of West Hollywood are Heating Up The Southland

Written by | The Lens

Model Murray Swanby is no stranger to being in front of the camera. He appeared in the solo season of E!’s What Happens at The Abbey and MTV’s Ex on the Beach, featuring all of the fun and drama that you’d expect from shows that center around shirtless men, high libidos, and low tolerance to vodka. Getting his start as an Andrew Christian underwear model, he quickly built his social media fan base and used it to position himself as a leading promoter of West Hollywood gay nightlife. Once again dipping his toes into reality TV, he is a main player in Crackle’s new show The Men of West Hollywood featuring both gay and straight men working and playing in the city voted “the hippest in the nation.”

Why do we need a show like The Men of West Hollywood?

Honestly women rule the reality TV world and its time we put a spectrum of boys on the map. The world is ready for the boys.

The show’s premiere has been a long time coming. COVID put a wrench in the production, adding to the drama already in place in the show. When the trailer came out featuring a cast entirely made up of model quality men, audiences were quick to judge.

There will always be haters. Everyone has an opinion. But at the end of the day, this is my real life – it’s messy, it’s dramatic, it’s sad, it’s happy – but that’s just life. You have to be willing to let the world see every side of you. Transparency is what matters.  

I don’t have time for negativity in my life. I radiate positive vibes. If you come at me with negative garbage, I hit “delete/block” and move on with my life.

While assumptions can be made about the lives of perfectly sculpted, speedo-ready bodies, precision perfect haircuts, and carefully manicured eyebrows, Murray knows the reality.

We all have body issues. I’ve never met a human that is perfectly comfortable in their own skin. We all strive to be better in our own way – stronger, thinner, thicker, whatever it is. I work out for myself and try to not compare myself to others. We are all on our own journey.

Personally, I’ve worked very hard on my diet, my body, and my lifestyle since moving to California. I think someone who puts in the work on themselves is recognized by other people. I do it for myself. When you’re happy inside, you glow.

People judge me every day. Everyone has an opinion on my hair, my clothes, my body… But eventually you learn to say “IDGAF.” This is me – love it, like it, or not. If you follow me, I hope you support my life. If you’re not a supporter, just click “unfollow” babes.

Regardless of the differences that exist in the cast of The Men of West Hollywood, and even in Murray’s personal circle, he knows what we can offer each other in order to build a stronger LGBTQ community.

Visibility and support. We’re all fighting for human rights to be recognized as equals.’ It’s a never-ending battle. Every generation has their calling.

Some of the charm in the show comes from seeing Murray and his fellow cast members work and hang out, regardless of their sexuality. A big theme in the first few episodes is keeping to a brocade, gay or straight. There is no awkward energy or eye rolls as straight men come to party in the gay bars or the gay boys attend a bikini-fueled pool party.

Times are changing. California is always a leader in that. Some of my closest friends are very comfortable straight guys. We can just learn to be humans and love each other for our individual selves rather than our stereotypes and labels.

I just love that people get to see us in an LGBTQ show with some amazing straight allies and friends living life.  The world needs more of that.

Unlike his MTV experience, he is not confined to a set environment. We see his crazy personal and professional life in all of its glory, bumps and all. And no reality TV with Murray would be complete if it didn’t have plenty of dating drama. With his career coming first, he still has time for play.

Right now, I’m honestly focusing on me and building my “empire.” I don’t have a lot of boyfriend time. But I’m okay with that. I do love cuddling boys, so if I could just focus on me all day and have someone stop by for like seven hours of sleep and cuddles then go home, my life would be perfect. LOL

What did Murray learn most about himself from doing the show?

I learned to speak my mind and trust myself.

What is some of the reality of Murray’s life that we didn’t see in front of the camera?

I love to spend time with myself playing video games and disconnecting from the world.

Using his social media platform for good, he started a new venture during COVID that mixes his strengths with goodwill.

I started a global non-profit with a couple of my very close friends – Influence The World. We want to use the power and visibility of social media to create real change. We just launched a couple of months ago, have done our first build – a renovation of a small school yard in Tiajuana, Mexico. We have three builds across the world planned for this year. Please follow our journey.

For the non-profit’s first big project, Murray packed up his circle of influencers and headed south.

Tijuana was super inspiring. We took 16 people down from Los Angeles, brought tons of school supplies, computers, sports equipment, and built a soccer field for a really run-down neighborhood in Los Laurels – a refugee area of the city. The kids and parents were so appreciative and gave hugs to everyone. It was really humbling.

Do influencers in the LGBTQ community have an obligation to get politically and socially involved?

I think anyone who has a big social media following has a responsibility to voice their opinions on social and political topics. Right now, the world is very torn. I believe new generations embody love and change. And that’s really what we need right now. I hope that message becomes stronger as the old ways and corrupt politics die out.

No word yet on if the show will be renewed, and if so, who would be coming back. Audiences will quickly pick their favorite villain or hero, none of whom are hard on the eyes. Murray’s life in front of the camera has just become commonplace, and now he’s able to share more about what makes him tick. A personal favorite moment for Murray is their trip to Big Bear. You’ll have to watch and see what happens.

Filming is just so much fun. It’s such an awesome experience. I love everyone on the show. We might fight a lot but we also love each other a lot. And at the end of the day, they’re part of my family.

With three reality shows under his belt, what kind of show would Murray like to do in the future?

If I were to produce my own show it would be something that follows my normal life. Because my life is so f***ig crazy.  LOL.  But The Men of West Hollywood already chronicles much of my life, so I’m just super excited for it to air.

The Men of West Hollywood is now streaming on Crackle.

You can follow Murray on Instagram: @MurraySwanbyLA

And check out his non-profit at

Last modified: February 4, 2022