Have you seen this? The amazing Shonda Rhimes was honored with the Sherry Lansing Award at The Hollywood Reporter's annual Women in Entertainment breakfast on December 10, 2014. In acceptance, she gave this remarkable speech.
What I love the most about this is that she gives credit to those women who've come before her, making her path that much easier.
I think she's being far more modest than she claims -- maybe she only thinks it's been easy because her undeniable talent and driving passion makes it feel less like work and more like the natural order of things. Isn't that what the combination of talent and passion lead to, after all?
But she is correct in saying she would not be here if it hadn't been for all those women who came before her and threw themselves at the glass ceiling, softening it, transforming it for her to bust through so easily. She didn't name names, but I can't help but think about Haddie McDaniel, Dorothy Dandridge, Claudia McNeil, Linda Bloodworth Thomason, Roseanne Barr, and Dianne Houston, just to name a few.
Which isn't to say that any of these women did the work for her. She may be standing on their shoulders, but she had to do the work to get up there all by herself. And that, I believe, is what is being recognized. It has been proven time and time again that it is easier to get ahead in Hollywood (and most everywhere else) as a white man. So, as a woman of color, for her to have risen so high is clearly a testament to her immense talent and rock-solid determination.
It is especially sweet that she is being recognized for her pro-women, pro-diversity, pro-LGBTQ shows. Each and every show of hers passes the Bechdel test with flying colors. And sets the bar that much higher for other shows that will come along in the future.
This, my dears, is what change looks like. And it is important that we pause and recognize it when it happens, and celebrate it wholeheartedly, before putting our heads down and continuing to push forward.
So... Brava Ms. Rhimes. Brava!
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