Can Shonda Rhimes get any more awesome? On Saturday night, the TV giant took home the Producers Guild's Norman Lear Award for Achievement in Television. Rhimes is the first ever solo female to win the award, and her speech was nothing short of amazing.
"I'm going to be totally honest with you, I completely deserve this," she joked. Rhimes is the creator of such hit shows as Grey's Anatomy and Scandal, as well as the executive producer of How to Get Away with Murder. But while some are applauding her dedication to showcasing diverse characters, Rhimes doesn't think it's anything to write home about.
"I have, against the odds, courageously pioneered the art of writing for people of color as if they were human beings. I've bravely gone around just casting parts for actors who were the best ones. I fearlessly faced down ABC when they completely agreed with me that Olivia Pope should be black. And I raised my sword heroically and then put it down again when Paul Lee never fought me about any of my storytelling choices."
Saying it's not trailblazing to write the world as it actually is, Rhimes continued: "Women are smart and strong. They are not sex toys or damsels in distress. People of color are not sassy or dangerous or wise. And, believe me, people of color are never anybody's sidekick in real life."
While Rhimes said she was honored to receive the award and it meant the world to her, she noted that she wasn't without predecessors. "Strong women and three-dimensional people of color is something Norman [Lear, Good Times writer/producer] was doing 40-something years ago. So how come it has to be done all over again? What are we waiting for? I mean, I know this is a room full of producers, so probably you’re waiting for money."
The importance of diversity as a matter of fact? If only more people in positions saw things the way Shonda Rhimes does...