This weekend, Shonda Rhimes accepted the Norman Lear Achievement Award at the Producers Guild Awards. During her acceptance speech she took the time to speak out against the lack of diversity in film and television, strongly making the point that there’s nothing “trailblazing” about putting people of color on TV and in movies.
“I’m going to be totally honest with you, I completely deserve this.”
“It’s not trailblazing to write the world as it actually is. 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. I create the content that I want to see and I create what I know is normal.”
“I have, against no 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.”
“Basically, you are just giving me an award for being me, in which case I totally deserve this. Really, I am honored to receive it. The respect of this award does mean the world. It just makes me a little bit sad. First of all, strong women and three-dimensional people of color is something Norman 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. Clearly, money.” – Shonda Rhimes