Shonda Rhimes Totally Deserves Her HRC Award
People throw out the word "diversity" a lot these days in regards to TV and movies and the lack of diversity in them. But Shonda Rhimes admitted she's not crazy about that word, because the immensely successful TV exec producer just likes her shows to reflect how the real world actually looks. And that's why Rhimes has notably produced some of the most diverse drama series on TV, including Grey's Anatomy, Scandal, and How to Get Away With Murder. On Saturday night, the Human Rights Campaign honored Rhimes with the Ally for Equity Award at the HRC Los Angeles Gala dinner and it's an award that's so well-deserved.
“I really hate the word ‘diversity,'” she told the crowd at the gala, according to Variety. “It is just something other. Something special, like it’s rare. ‘It’s diversity!’ As if there is something unusual about telling stories about women or people of color or LGBT characters on TV. I have a different word. I call it ‘normalizing.’ I make TV look like the world looks.” Rhimes' series have always been incredibly reflective of the real world, with characters who are white, black, Asian, Hispanic, gay, and straight — there's really no limit for Shondaland.
But it's more than just casting minority actors in roles. Rhimes' shows also feature diverse (ahem) stories, like interracial couples and the gay sex scenes in How to Get Away With Murder, which is a show created by longtime Shondaland writer Peter Nowalk. Grey's, Scandal, and HTGAWM all feature interracial couples and it's never seen as a huge deal by the characters or the show, because it shouldn't be — it's 2015. I myself am the product of an interracial couple (my parents are Chinese and Caucasian) and I'm always surprised someone is shocked when I say I'm mixed.
Not only that, How to Get Away With Murder decided not to hold anything back when it came to its sex scenes between two men and it's a huge achievement. Usually, TV shows will cut away from homosexual sex scenes, while letting heterosexual couples go the distance, but here, Nowalk and Rhimes took a giant leap forward.
And when a fan complained to Rhimes about her shows' so-called "gay scenes" last fall, Rhimes had the best response.
Thank you for giving us amazing TV that looks like real life, Shonda.