BY MALCOLM MUSONI
I’m sure somewhere in her office next to her Emmy’s and the unanswered voice memo’s from Katherine Heigl, Shonda Rhimes has the “Take it to another level no passengers on my plane” Beyoncè lyric engraved. That lyric truly details the success of Rhimes. All she has to do is have her name attached to a show and it’s ratings gold. If she wanted she could start making Shonda Rhimes executive produced/written commercials at a certain time slot and people would tune in.
Hearing "Written by Shonda Rhimes or Executive produced by Shonda Rhimes" just means you’re tuning in for good quality television that just happens to be diverse. Your soul just knows there’s enriching coming when it’s #TGIT. There’s a difference between the way Shonda brings her diversity in opposed to the way others try to shove it down our throat as natural. In Scandal Cyrus just happens to be gay and there isn’t some big plot spent analyzing it. Shonda doesn’t have these characters in there to fill some diversity quota; it’s natural. The character’s sexuality isn’t mentioned unless it’s relevant to the plot ie; episode eight from season three of scandal where Cyrus baits his husband into sleeping with the vice president’s in the closet husband.
Writer Alessandra Stanley of the New York Times is probably mad that her office is the size of a closet and her boss doesn’t respect her and she’s stuck writing these mediocre culture critic pieces. So last week before the biggest premiere of ABC’s fall schedule she took it upon herself to write an article where she not only classified Rhimes as an angry black woman but went on to call the star of Rhimes’ newest show How To Get Away With Murder; Viola Davis “less classically beautiful”.
The Hollywood Reporter asked 30 people who work with Shonda to describe her in three words and “angry black woman” didn’t come up once. None of those words came up.
Kerry Washington, Scandal
Brilliant, compassionate, courageous
Chandra Wilson, Grey’s Anatomy
Writer, shy, decisive
Viola Davis, How to Get Away With Murder
Innovative, courageous, visionary
Kevin McKidd, Grey’s Anatomy
Inspirational, intuitive, deeply passionate
Bellamy Young, Grey’s Anatomy, Private Practice, Scandal
Tom Verica, Grey’s Anatomy, Private Practice, Scandal, How to Get Away With Murder
Beautiful, gifted, powerful
You can read the full list here but the biggest kicker to the face of Alessandra Sanley’s weak attempt to invalidate Shonda’s success is the staggering viewing numbers that came in the night after last Thursday’s #TGIT big season premiere. Grey’s Anatomy averaged 9.8 millions viewers, Scandal with 11.9 million viewers and How To Get Away With Murder averaged 14 million viewers.
Who cares about being classically beautiful when a network has created a weekly three hour block dedicated to shows that came out of your production company and they all average more than 9 million viewers on the first week?