Followers of Shonda Rhimes on Twitter already know…you can’t come for her without getting some type of response.
New York Times writer Alessandra Stanley found this out the hard way when she suggesting in her Thursday column that the producer of ABC’s “Scandal,” “Grey’s Anatomy” and the new “How to Get Away with Murder” makes a practice of channeling her own “angry black woman” attitude into her television characters.
“When Shonda Rhimes writes her autobiography, it should be called ‘How to Get Away With Being an Angry Black Woman,’ ” Stanley’s piece begins. The story later observed, “Ms. Rhimes has embraced the trite but persistent caricature of the Angry Black Woman, recast it in her own image and made it enviable.”
Read the entire article here.
Immediately, the Internet pounced, with a perplexed Rhimes first making it clear that “How to Get Away with Murder” was not technically her creation.
“Confused why @nytimes critic doesn’t know identity of CREATOR of show she’s reviewing,” she tweeted in response to a tweet from Pete Nowalk, who did create the series. (Incidentally, Nowalk — a former “Grey’s” staffer — is a white male.)
Rhimes followed that with: “Apparently we can be ‘angry black women’ together, because I didn’t know I was one either! @petenowa #LearnSomethingNewEveryday,” she continued.
And, noting that Stanley had highlighted a rant from “Scandal’s” Olivia Pope (Kerry Washington) as illustrative of Rhimes’ own perceived anger, she wondered why other rants by white characters don’t get the same attention.
“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,” she tweeted.
Others also weighed in.
“Wow,” tweeted “Scandal’s” Joshua Malina. “Did I just read a @nytimes piece that reduced my brilliant, creative, compassionate, thoughtful, bada** boss to an ‘angry black woman?’”
“So Shonda Rhimes is ‘angry black woman’ but Aaron Sorkin ‘delivers an opinionated speech’ and ‘forceful denunciation’,” posted Sarah Kendzior of “The Newsroom’s” writer and creator, who’s also fond of rants.