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The mighty and powerful Shonda Rhimes appeared on cover of The Hollywood Reporter looking every bit of fantastic, fabulous and ready to continue taking on the world. Rhimes gave a powerful interview, covering a myriad of topics, including the New York Times article the whole angry Black woman. Here are a few highlights:

On not wanting to be referred to as “the most powerful Black female showrunner in Hollywood:”

“They wouldn’t say that someone is ‘the most powerful white male showrunner in Hollywood.’ I find race and gender to be terribly important; they’re terribly important to who I am. But there’s something about the need for everybody else to spend time talking about it … that pisses me off.”

On the positive of the New York Times“angry Black woman” article:

“Some really amazing articles were written that had the conversation that I’ve been trying to have for a very long time, which, coming from me, makes me sound like I’m just, ‘Rrrraw!’”

“In this world in which we all feel we’re so full of gender equality and we’re a postracial [society] and Obama is president, it’s a very good reminder to see the casual racial bias and odd misogyny from a woman written in a paper that we all think of as being so liberal.”

On her decision to explore other networks:

“It wasn’t really about money, though don’t get me wrong, it’s very important in a world in which women are paid 77 cents on the dollar to be paid in a way that felt correct,” she says. “I wanted more control. I wanted the autonomy. And I wanted to feel like if I was making shows, I could sell them anywhere. I’m in a lovely position that whenever we pitch something, ABC buys it, which is great, but I also wanted the ability to say, ‘This is not for you.’”

On dealing with being in the spotlight:

“I don’t know too many other writers who people can recognize their faces … so that was a little disturbing for me and my kids,” she says, adding with a mix of humor and horror: “My 12-year-old instinctively says to people: ‘No autographs, please. She’s with her children.’ “

On hating the work/life balance question:

“The question drives me nuts,” she says, her warm smile momentarily gone. “What does Chuck Lorre say when you ask him about work‑life balance?” She had a similar response earlier in the summer when reporters asked her about her furniture and what she was serving President Obama at a fundraiser at her Hancock Park home. “I started saying to people, angrily, ‘Did you ask John Wells any of those questions?’ ” she says. “They were like, ‘No.’ And I’d say: ‘Because he was at work, right? Well, I’m at work, too.’ “

On running a tight ship on the “Scandal” set:

“There are no Heigls in this situation,” she says, choosing her words carefully. She adds later of her “no a**holes” policy: “I don’t put up with bullsh*t or nasty people. I don’t have time for it.”

On time management and future projects:

She has more to offer on the subject of time management, which she is asked about just as frequently. Next year, she will publish her first book, part memoir, part guide to being both a single mother and a high-powered showrunner. Since she adopted Emerson, now 2, Rhimes has drawn a hard line at working on weekends, optimizing that time with her children, close friends and nearby family. There’s a boyfriend, too, though she isn’t interested in discussing him. During the week, she’s trying out a new plan where she leaves the office around 5 p.m. to be home for dinner with her kids, or “tiny humans,” as she refers to them on Twitter. (She can go back later, if need be, a benefit of being only 10 minutes away.)

It’s a great interview. Read it in full here.
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  • ALM

    I see “The Hollywood Reporter” (THR) shaded “The New York Times” in small print on the cover. THR knows better than to cross Ms. Rhimes (or they know enough not to cross her publicly). I see that THR also shaded other showrunners.

    May I say that this is a great picture of her? The photo encompasses much of who I think Ms. Rhimes is: smart, inquisitive, attractive, confident, and assertive.

    “In this world in which we all feel we’re so full of gender equality and we’re a post-racial [society] and Obama is president, it’s a very good reminder to see the casual racial bias and odd misogyny from a woman written in a paper that we all think of as being so liberal.”

    ^^^ I love her response on this. So many people in entertainment are so afraid to speak up and speak out, because they are afraid of being blackballed. I love it when people call out unfair and downright discriminatory things in the world.

    Shonda is a genius. She knows that someday relationship with ABC may end (although I don’t see that happening anytime soon), so she knows that she must place her eggs in different baskets. A lot of people speak of “building a brand”, but Ms. Rhimes has done just that.

    Her 12 year old’s response to the public is hilarious. She is raising a feisty young lady. ☺

    It’s hilarious to hear her speak out on Katherine Heigl. Reading between the lines, you could tell years ago that Heigl was difficult to work with. Some of the major magazines were heralding Heigl as “the next Julia Roberts” or “the next Meg Ryan”. As usual, they were wrong. I guess now that Heigl has a difficult reputation (even when working with white directors), Shonda feels more comfortable telling it like it is.

    It never ceases to amaze me that even though Ms. Rhimes has clearly proven that diverse casts equal major buzz and big ratings, these racist studio executives still refuse to make major deals with most African Americans in Hollywood. If Shonda had been a white man, twenty other white men with similar writing styles would have been hired after Grey’s Anatomy hit its second season. A lot of box office movies are failing, and you would think that common sense would steer these industry executives to try something different.

    I always say that one way to know if someone is extremely racist is if their actions don’t change, even if there is major money to be made.

  • I love how she speaks her mind without concerning herself with the potential backlash!! Good for her!

  • blogdiz

    Although I stood up vigorously for SR when she was called an Angry black woman .I personally am not into her shows but respect the fact that there is a market for them and thus she is successful and deserves her props .

    My Pet peeve with her and in fact most other TV writers is that they are all pursue diversity in TV at the expense of a positive black male/female dynamic .It seems 90% of the time the black character especially if male are seen pursuing romantic interests with Non black partners not Think all 3 BM on Greys, Private Practice, Rush, House , ER, Covert Affairs the list is endless
    ( not against interracial unions just its highly disproportionate representation)

    Black Men Love to Harp on Scandal but the truth is for Decades BM being paired with non BW seemed the default setting for TV. The funny thing is the majority of interracial unions in the USA is between Asian women and white men and that is hardly shown on TV. And I don’t think we would live to see the day when WW are summarily replaced on TV by Asian women in the roles of White men lovers /wife etc

    But I will watch Viola read the telephone book so looking forward to that !