The casts of Shonda Rhimes’ shows are coming to her defense after a New York Times review called the Scandal creator an “angry Black woman.”
Kerry Washington, Viola Davis, Chandra Wilson, and more, told The Hollywood Reporter how they would rather have described Rhimes.
“Brilliant, compassionate, courageous,” said Washington.
“Innovative, courageous, visionary,” said Davis.
“Writer, shy, decisive,” added Wilson.
The actresses were among more than 30 stars and producers from Rhimes’ shows celebrating the kickoff of Shondaland’s “TGIT” programming, which airs Thursdays on ABC with Grey’s Anatomy at 8pm, Scandal at 9pm, and How to Get Away With Murder at 10pm.
Rhimes earlier responded to Times TV critic Alessandra Stanley’s characterization of her as “angry” with the candor and brilliance you’ve come to expect of her—especially if you follow her on social media. “Wait. I’m ‘angry’ AND a ROMANCE WRITER?!! I’m going to need to put down the internet and go dance this one out. Because ish is getting real,” she wrote.
The Times’ public editor responded to the backlash earlier today with an article titled “An Article on Shonda Rhimes Rightly Causes a Furor.”
“The readers and commentators are correct to protest this story,” the paper’s public editor Margaret Sullivan wrote. “Intended to be in praise of Ms. Rhimes, it delivered that message in a condescending way that was — at best — astonishingly tone-deaf and out of touch.”
Stanley defended the piece in her response to the public editor today. “In the review, I referenced a painful and insidious stereotype solely in order to praise Ms. Rhimes and her shows for traveling so far from it,” she said. “If making that connection between the two offended people, I feel bad about that.”
How would you describe Shonda Rhimes?