When TV critic Alessandra Stanley called Shonda Rhimes an angry black woman last month in the New York Times, the showrunner (and basically everyone else who read it) wasted no time taking to her Twitter to set her straight.
In a new interview with The Hollywood Reporter, the 44-year-old shared that she’s glad the piece was written, in large part because the subsidiary articles that came from it hit on a conversation she’s wanted to have for a long time. When friends suggested the article be retracted, Rhimes wanted it to remain.
“In this world in which we all feel we’re so full of gender equality and we’re a postracial [society] and Obama is president, it’s a very good reminder to see the casual racial bias and odd misogyny from a woman written in a paper that we all think of as being so liberal,” said Rhimes.
In addition to tackling what’s now become “that NY Times” piece, the interview also takes a close look at Rhimes’ rise to the top, her now very lucrative empire (ABC signed her to a new four-year deal in May that is said to include eight figures a year, advances on the backend, overall one of the richest deals in TV), and the single mother of three’s home life.
How does she do it all? Her answer is simple, she doesn’t.
“If I am at home sewing my kids’ Halloween costumes, I’m probably blowing off a rewrite I was supposed to turn in. If I am accepting a prestigious award, I am missing my baby’s first swim lesson. If I am at my daughter’s debut in her school musical, I am missing Sandra Oh’s last scene ever being filmed at Grey’s Anatomy. If I am succeeding at one, I am inevitably failing at the other. That is the trade-off,” she explains.