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Shonda Rhimes Speaks on ‘Angry Black Woman’ Moniker

In her first extensive comments on The New York Times’ article that referred to her as an “angry black woman,” Shonda Rhimes said what really makes her angry is everyone else’s need to bring up race and gender when discussing her.

“I find race and gender to be terribly important; they’re terribly important to who I am,” the Grey’s Anatomy and Scandal creator told The Hollywood Reporter in a new cover story. “But there’s something about the need for everybody else to spend time talking about it … that pisses me off.”

In the article last month, New York Times critic Alessandra Stanley attempted to praise Rhimes for how she has “reset the image of African-American women on television,” but instead ignited a firestorm beginning with her opening paragraph, “When Shonda Rhimes writes her autobiography, it should be called ‘How to Get Away With Being an Angry Black Woman.’ ”

At the time, Rhimes, 44, responded on Twitter with, “Confused why @nytimes critic doesn’t know identity of CREATOR of show she’s reviewing. @petenowa did u know u were ‘an angry black woman’?”

She was referring to ShondaLand writer and producer Peter Nowalk, who created the new show How to Get Away with Murder, starring Viola Davis. Rhimes is an executive producer of the show.

Rhimes went on to tweet, “Apparently we can be “angry black women” together, because I didn’t know I was one either!”

She also added, “Final thing: (then I am gonna do some yoga): how come I am not “an angry black woman” the many times Meredith (or Addison!) rants? @nytimes,” referring to two white characters from her shows.



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