This weekend, Grey's Anatomy and Scandal creator Shonda Rhimes had a helluva soapbox with which to rail against Hollywood's prejudiced casting processes — on Saturday, January 25, she and co-executive producer Betsy Beers accepted the Diversity Award at the Directors Guild of America Awards in Los Angeles.
And the 44-year-old showrunner seized the opportunity to call out how ridiculous it is that there even needs to be such an award.
"When I heard I was getting a Diversity Award, I was really, truly, profoundly honored," she began, per Entertainment Weekly. "I began to get calls from [journalists who] 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. So was Betsy. So over many, many, many bottles of wine we discussed this."
So why the ire? Shonda explained: "We're a little pissed off because there still needs to be an award. Like, there's such a lack of people hiring women and minorities that when someone does it on a regular basis, they are given an award."
Shonda went on to say that skewed casting happens not because of a lack of talent but because of a lack of access — elaborating that Hollywood has been a "white boys club for 70 years" because people hire their friends, hire safe choices, and hire what makes them comfortable.
"Both Betsy and I like the world that we work in to look like the world that we live in," she rebutted. "Different voices make for different visions. Different visions make for something original. Original is what the public is starving for.”
And though she and Betsy wish there didn't need to be a diversity award, Shonda commends the DGA on its activism: "We're also proud that the DGA recognizes a problem and are trying to fix it. The DGA, by the way, is the only guild giving out this type of award in an attempt to draw attention to the problem, which I think is kind of badass."
Badass, indeed — as is Shonda for this passionate and articulate speech. Yet another reason why we never want to move out of Shondaland!
Source: Entertainment Weekly