In January, Shonda Rhimes decided to use her Diversity Award win at the Director’s Guild Awards to address the ongoing diversity problem in Hollywood, but fell short of labeling it racism.
“We’re a little pissed off because there still needs to be an award. 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,” she said.
“It’s not because of a lack of talent. 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.”
This isn’t the only time Rhimes has openly criticized the lack of diversity in the industry. In an interview with Salon, she seemed completely baffled that diversity is still a big deal and when achieved, it’s something to be “proud” of.
“I think it’s sad and weird and strange that it’s still a thing, nine years after we did ‘Grey’s,’ that it’s still a thing. It’s creepy to me that it’s still an issue, that there aren’t enough people of color on television. Why is that still happening? It’s 2013. Somebody else needs to get their act together,” she said. “And oh, by the way, it works. Ratings-wise, it works. People like to see it. I don’t understand why people don’t understand that the world of TV should look like the world outside of TV.”