Grey's Anatomy Creator Wins Prestigious DGA Diversity Award, But Her "Pissed Off" Acceptance Speech Makes Her A True Winner
It's disheartening that this still happens today! It is 2014, people!
Shonda Rhimes, the creator of many hit dramas on ABC received the Director's Guild of America Diversity Award on Saturday alongside Scandal executive producer, Betsy Beers.
While this is a very honorable award, it obviously irked the creator of Scandal, and she had to say what was on her mind!
“When I heard I was getting a Diversity Award, I was really, truly, profoundly honored. I began to get calls from Variety, The Hollywood Reporter, etc., and I was asked to comment on the award. 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.
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.
It’s not because of a lack of talent. It’s because of a lack of access. People hire who they know. If it’s been a white boys club for 70 years, that’s a lot of white boys hiring one another. And I don’t believe that that happens out of any specific racism or sexism or prejudice. People hire their friends. They hire who they know. It’s comfortable. You want to be successful, you don’t want to take any chances, you don’t want to rock the boat by hiring people of color because, well, look at us. Both Betsy and I like the world that we work in to look like the world that we live in. Different voices make for different visions. Different visions make for something original. Original is what the public is starving for.”
Very well said, Shonda.
While there are more and more minorities working in the entertainment industry, it doesn't hurt to see more men and women from different aspects of the world in bigger roles!
She continued her speech by giving thanks to those who awarded her the accolade, but she didn't veer too far from her original message.
“Betsy and I are truly honored and humbled that the DGA would thank our efforts. And yes, we’re a tiny bit pissed off that there needs to be an award. 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.”
Shonda and Betsy walked off the stage to a standing ovation from their peers.
Well done, ladies. Keep paving the way for all the young hopefuls out there!
[Image via Apega/WENN.]