Contributing writer for The Artifice.
Junior Contributor I
Shonda Rhimes and social criticism
Shonda Rhimes, the creator of "Grey’s Anatomy," "Scandal," and, most recently, "How to Get Away with Murder," makes a point of including characters of diverse races, ethnicities, and sexual orientations, and is well-known for her portrayal of strong women. However, her portrayals are not without controversy. She is often accused of portraying women and minorities in powerful positions without addressing the trials and tribulations it took for them to get there. Does this do an injustice to her characters as a form of white-washing history, or is it progressive that she portrays minority characters without making their race, sexual orientation, etc. their defining character trait?
This topic is especially timely for two reasons. First of all, Patrick Dempsey, the male lead of Grey’s Anatomy, recently left the show; it will now focus on Meredith Grey and her experiences as a single mother of two and successful surgeon. Audiences will likely be interested to see how Rhimes handles the topic of single motherhood. Second of all, Viola Davis recently received an Emmy for her portrayal of Dr. Keating in "How to Get Away With Murder," making her the first African American woman to receive an Emmy for Best Actress in a Drama.