Scandal mastermind Shonda Rhimes and Executive Producer Betsy Beers were honored with the Diversity Award at the Directors Guild of America Awards ceremony on Saturday.
According to the New York Times, Rhimes delivered an acceptance speech expressing her mixed feelings about the honor and the need for a diversity award.
“When I heard I was getting an 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.”
“Betsy and I are being applauded and given an award for something that we should all be doing,” she said about the show’s diverse cast and crew. “There shouldn’t need to be an award!”
Rhimes went on to acknowledge what an honor it was to be recognized by the DGA. “Betsy and I are truly honored and humbled that the DGA would thank our efforts,” she said. “We’re also proud that the DGA recognizes a problem and are trying to fix it.”
She finished her speech with a call to action. “Diversity is not an effort or an initiative. Don’t have summits or meetings. Just start hiring people.”
Rhimes and Beers left the stage to a standing ovation.