‘It’s Been A White Boys Club For 70 Years:’ Shonda Rhimes ‘Pissed’ Over Directors Guild Diversity Of America Award

January 28, 2014  |  

Shonda Rhimes is no stranger to speaking her mind. So when the “Scandal” creator accepted the Diversity Award during Grammy weekend from the Directors Guild of America, it wasn’t surprising that she expressed exactly how she felt.

“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,” Shonda said, according to Entertainment Weekly.

“So was Betsy,” she said of “Scandal” executive producer Betsy Beers, who also received the award. “So over many, many, many bottles of wine we discussed this.”

Why were they so pissed over being honored, you ask? Well, Shonda says it’s disturbing that there’s still a need for such an award.

“We’re a little pissed off because there still needs to be an award,” she continued. “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,” she went on. “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.”

In closing, she expressed gratitude for the honor, but not before driving her point home one last time.

“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,” she said. “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.”

That’s our Shonda.

What do you think of her remarks?

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