Saturday, October 11, 2014

Shonda Rhimes On Combining Motherhood With Career And Being An Angry Black Woman

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Shonda Rhimes is the creator of ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ and ‘Scandal’ and is also executive producing new TV show, ‘How to Get Away with Murder’ featuring Viola Davis. She's also the single mom of three children, a twelve year old and two younger children.

The usually affable, if a no-nonsense go getting TV executive had her feathers ruffled a few weeks ago when a New York Times writer described her as is an ‘angry black woman’ [read here]. Shonda called out the writer on social media and sparked a conversation on sexism and race.

Shonda is on the cover of the latest issue of The Hollywood Reporter (THR), and addresses that controversial topic as well as how she combines being a mother with her work in Hollywood as a high profile writer and show creator.

Read excerpts from her interview below:

On why she won't have NYT article retracted;

“In this world in which we all feel we’re so full of gender equality and we’re a postracial [society] and Obama is president, it’s a very good reminder to see the casual racial bias and odd misogyny from a woman written in a paper that we all think of as being so liberal.”

On what's kept her at ABC all her career;

"It wasn't really about money, though don't get me wrong, it's very important in a world in which women are paid 77 cents on the dollar to be paid in a way that felt correct. I wanted more control. I wanted the autonomy. And I wanted to feel like if I was making shows, I could sell them anywhere. I'm in a lovely position that whenever we pitch something, ABC buys it, which is great, but I also wanted the ability to say, 'This is not for you.' "

On being asked about balancing motherhood and career:

“The question drives me nuts,” she says. “What does Chuck Lorre say when you ask him about work‑life balance?”

On how her career affects her family role:

“If I am at home sewing my kids’ Halloween costumes, I’m probably blowing off a rewrite I was supposed to turn in. If I am accepting a prestigious award, I am missing my baby’s first swim lesson. If I am at my daughter’s debut in her school musical, I am missing Sandra Oh‘s last scene ever being filmed at Grey’s Anatomy. If I am succeeding at one, I am inevitably failing at the other. That is the trade-off.”

On being encouraged to read from an early age;

"I remember very clearly being 7 or 8 and reading The French Lieutenant's Woman and asking my mother what the definition of something was and her being like, 'Dictionary's over there.'"

Read full feature here, and see pictures here.

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