Shonda Rhimes is the latest member of Hollywood to speak about film and TV's diversity problem, explaining that there's nothing "trailblazing" about putting people of color on TV and in movies.
While accepting the Norman Lear Achievement Award at the Producers Guild Awards in Los Angeles this weekend, Rhimes spoke about her work and why it's so easy for her to include a diverse cast of characters in all her shows.
"It's not trailblazing to write the world as it actually is," she said. "Women are smart and strong. They are not sex toys or damsels in distress. People of color are not sassy or dangerous or wise. And, believe me, people of color are never anybody’s sidekick in real life."
The "Grey's Anatomy" and "Scandal" producer added that when it comes to her hit shows, she just "created the content that I wanted to see and I created what I know is normal."
"Basically, you are just giving me an award for being me, in which case I totally deserve this. Really, I am honored to receive it. The respect of this award does mean the world. It just makes me a little bit sad. First of all, [writing about] strong women and three-dimensional people of color is something Norman was doing 40 something years ago. So how come it has to be done all over again?"
The TV powerhouse then turned her focus onto the influencers sitting in the crowd, asking why Hollywood isn't offering more strong roles for women.
"What are we waiting for?" she said. "I mean, I know this is a room full of producers, so probably you're waiting for money. Clearly, money."
Rhimes' comments come after the Academy Awards sparked controversy by failing to nominate a single actor of color for an award (in the both male and female categories).
Academy President Cheryl Boone Isaacs also addressed the issue, saying that the lack of diversity on the Oscar nominee list made her feel "heartbroken and frustrated."
Following her comments, the Academy pledged to change their membership composition.
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