The Grey's Anatomy, Scandal and Private Practice writer is not one to hold her tongue when something is upsetting to her. Rhimes and Executive Producer of Scandal Betsy Beers were given the Diversity Award at the Directors Guild of America Awards this past Saturday in Los Angeles.
“When I heard I was getting a Diversity Award, I was really, truly, profoundly honored. I began to get calls from Variety, The Hollywood Reporter, etc., and I was asked to comment on the award. Asked how good I felt about the award. Asked if it made me feel like I was doing the right thing. Asked if it had been a struggle making diversity happen on my cast and crews. While I’m still really and truly profoundly honored to receive this award, but I was also a little pissed off,” Rhimes said. “So was Betsy. So over many, many, many bottles of wine we discussed this.”
Rhimes clearly didn’t want to sound ungrateful for the award, but also didn’t want to lose the message. “Betsy and I are truly honored and humbled that the DGA would thank our efforts. And yes, we’re a tiny bit pissed off that there needs to be an award,” she said. “We’re also proud that the DGA recognizes a problem and are trying to fix it."
“It’s not because of a lack of talent. It’s because of a lack of access. People hire who they know. If it’s been a white boys club for 70 years, that’s a lot of white boys hiring one another. And I don’t believe that that happens out of any specific racism or sexism or prejudice. People hire their friends. They hire who they know. It’s comfortable. You want to be successful, you don’t want to take any chances, you don’t want to rock the boat by hiring people of color because, well, look at us,” she said. “Both Betsy and I like the world that we work in to look like the world that we live in. Different voices make for different visions. Different visions make for something original. Original is what the public is starving for.”
What are your thoughts on the statements made by Shonda Rhimes? Has the film/TV industry been a "White boys club" for the past 70 years? Tweet us your thoughts to @TheBLKSocialite
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Stephen "TheeBlackSocialite" Hale