In an exclusive interview, Shonda Rhimes is addressing, for the first time, claims that she is an “angry black woman” by a New York Times critic and how she’s managed to become TV’s “it” girl.
As best quoted by Oscar nominee and Rhimes’ “How To Get Away With Murder” star, Viola Davis, “Shonda is a black woman, and I understand that that’s a part of what people want to write about when they write about her,” she said in the cover story. “But here’s the thing: After you write about that, write about something else. Write about her vision, write about her courage, write about her talent, write about the fact that she’s been able to achieve something that very few people have been able to achieve. Write about that.”
Rhimes recently caught up with The Hollywood Report and discussed the controversial NY Times article and how her race and gender has played role on how she’s been critiqued.
“I find race and gender to be terribly important; they’re terribly important to who I am, But there’s something about the need for everybody else to spend time talking about it … that pisses me off,” says the producer of Greys Anatomy, Scandal & How to Get Away With Murder.
NY Times critic Alessandra Stanley attempted to applaud Rhimes for her work. Unfortunately, like many other critics, she could not do so without shying away from Shonda’s race and gender.
In the article published last month, Alessandra Stanley stated, “She has reset the image of African-American women on television..When Shonda Rhimes writes her autobiography, it should be called ‘How to Get Away With Being an Angry Black Woman.” The citric went on to say that Shonda based her characters on aspects of herself, including HTGAWM star Viola Davis who is “less CLASSICALLY beautiful” than other well known black actresses.
Shonda Rhimes, like many modern day celebs took to twitter: “Confused why @nytimes critic doesn’t know identity of CREATOR of show she’s reviewing. @petenowa did u know u were ‘an angry black woman’?” [@petenowa created “How To Get Away With Murder” starring Viola Davis, executive producer is Shonda].
Following the incident, report coverage and social media discussions bloomed with topics that Shonda stated she always wanted to have “which, coming from me, makes me sound like I’m just, ‘Rrrraw!'”
ABC’s president Paul Lee has given her Thursday night’s entire lineup. The lucrative television event brings in up to 30 million viewers and $200,000 per 30 second ad. And since 1974 there hasn’t been a leading black actress on a television show. Unfortunately, even with all of these accolades under her belt, Rhimes can’t seem to escape the double ended sword of being a black female.
Sweethearts, do you ladies experience some of the same struggles at school or work? We’d love to hear your thoughts on the matter.
Written By: Jazmine Abner