Shonda Rhimes Comes For Speech Critics: If You Weren’t Receiving A Degree From Dartmouth Sunday I Wasn’t Talking About You

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I want to say some folks already learned the hard way not to come for Shonda Rhimes, but in case you haven’t already, you gone learn today! On Sunday, the “Scandal” creator spoke at Dartmouth’s commencement speech and ruffled some feathers outside of the ceremony when she imparted these words to the graduates:

Find a cause you love. It’s okay to just pick one. You are going to need to spend a lot of time out in the real world trying to figure out how to stop being a lost loser so one cause is good. But find one. And devote some time every week to it.

And while we are discussing this, let me say a thing. A hashtag is not helping. #yesallwomen #takebackthenight #notallmen #bringbackourgirls #StopPretendingHashtagsAreTheSameAsDoingSomething

Hashtags are very pretty on twitter. I love them. I will hashtag myself into next week. But a hashtag is not a movement. A hashtag does not make you Dr King. A hashtag does not change anything. It’s a hashtag. It’s you, sitting on your butt, typing into your computer and then going back to binge watching your favorite show. For me, it’s Game of Thrones.

Volunteer some hours. Focus on something outside yourself. Devote a slice of your energies towards making the world suck less every week. Some people suggest that doing this will increase your sense of well-being. Some say it’s just good karma. I say that it will allow you to remember that, whether you are a legacy or the first in your family to go to college, the air you are breathing right now is rare air. Appreciate it. And don’t be an a**hole.

As should have probably been expected, proponents of said hashtags mentioned above didn’t take too kindly to being told their efforts are not an actual movement. But when Ms. Rhimes got whiff of the backlash, she quickly set haters straight with this WhoSay post:

I see there is some drama about what I said about hashtag activism. Which makes me think some of you who are upset did not actually read or hear my speech (I invite you to watch it — the link is here). I was very clear. That speech I gave? Was for the 1100 or so students graduating from Dartmouth on Sunday. If you were receiving the privilege of breathing the rare air that comes with getting an Ivy League degree on Sunday, I was talking to you. I was talking to those to whom much has been given and I was reminding them that much is expected (Robert Kennedy) Hashtags are amazing for raising awareness. But I was telling them to go beyond that and do more. To actively try to give back in a hands on way. If you were not receiving a degree from Dartmouth on Sunday? I was not talking about you. I wasn’t even talking to you. I love that so many people saw and responded to the speech. But as I said in my speech, I was having a fireside chat with my Dartmouth peeps, remember?

Have a lovely day! (Am going back to my hiatus and my Orange is the New Black Watching)

#dartmouth14 #hashtag

And there you have it. Do you think Shonda Rhimes is right about hashtag activist?

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