Monday, May 25, 2015Monday, May 25, 2015

Woman power

Producer Shonda Rhimes is noted for featuring females and minorities in her TV shows

Published on Aug 14, 2014 3:21 PM

As the creator of popular television shows such as Grey's Anatomy and Scandal, Shonda Rhimes has received numerous accolades, including being named among Time magazine's 100 most influential people in the world in 2013 and, last year, one of Fortune magazine's 50 most powerful women.

These plaudits have come not just because she runs these top-rated series. Time praised her shows for reflecting gender and racial diversity, with central characters who are high-achieving and also female, black, Asian and gay, while Fortune cited her impact on popular culture at large.

Yet, even though she is arguably doing more for diversity than any other writer-producer in Hollywood, Rhimes is slightly exasperated by this - by the fact that hiring women and minorities is still considered so groundbreaking that she has to be singled out for praise.

Neither does she actively try to create a particular kind of female character to challenge likeability and other traits stereotypically associated with women on screen.

Enjoy 2 weeks of unlimited digital access to The Straits Times. Get your free access now!

Background story

“Shonda Rhimes is probably singlehandedly responsible for hiring more women in the business than anybody put together.”

Director Steven Soderbergh