Shonda Rhimes, the woman who brought the world McDreamy and Olivia Pope — and brought ABC some super high ratings — does not appreciate when her work is written off as “girly.”
“It’s superinsulting that because Olivia is a woman, and the girl who wrote ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ wrote this, it must be for chicks,” Rhimes told journalist Willa Paskin in a New York Times Magazine profile running in this weekend’s issue. “Like if it’s geared for women, it’s somehow not as serious as if it’s geared for men.”
As one of the most powerful people in the TV industry, who happens to be a black woman, Rhimes has become the unofficial spokesperson about women and people of color on TV — and sometimes it frustrates her. “I think it’s crazy that the person who everybody asks this question of is me,” she told Paskin in an interview for Salon in February. “Why don’t you ask a bunch of people who aren’t putting people of color on television why there aren’t more people of color on television.”
According to the NYT Magazine profile, Rhimes was always determined to succeed. She grew up considering herself a “good girl” a la Reese Witherspoon’s hyper-motivated, Type A Tracy Flick. And she picked film school because she “read an article in The Times that said getting into U.S.C. film school was harder than getting into Harvard Law and thought, ‘This sounds like a really competitive thing to do. I’m going to do it.'” Basically, Shonda Rhimes sounds like a total badass.
Even though “Scandal” and “Grey’s Anatomy” are both still on the air, Rhimes already has an idea of what she’d like to do next. She told Paskin that she’d like to create a show about “a woman carrying a gun and kicking people’s butts. I would have loved to have been the person who came up with [J.J. Abrams’ ‘Alias’]. I don’t think it’s been done by a woman. And that’s where my mind is.”
If it ever gets made, we’ll be watching.
To read more about Shonda Rhimes’ family life, “Grey’s Anatomy” and “Scandal,” check out the full piece in the New York Times.