It appears that Shonda Rhimes and others don’t want articles that discuss diversity in a way that is different from their point of view. At least, that’s the message that is being sent to Deadline writer Nellie Andreeva. Last night, she posted an article titled “Pilots 2015: The Year of Ethnic Castings — About Time Or Too Much Of [A] Good Thing?” Though the article wasn’t outright racist, it certainly wasn’t politically correct when talking about alleged minority quotas for casting.
“But, as is the case with any sea change, the pendulum might have swung a bit too far in the opposite direction. Instead of opening the field for actors of any race to compete for any role in a color-blind manner, there has been a significant number of parts designated as ethnic this year, making them off-limits for Caucasian actors, some agents signal. Many pilot characters this year were listed as open to all ethnicities, but when reps would call to inquire about an actor submission, they frequently have been told that only non-Caucasian actors would be considered.”
Shonda Rhimes and others immediately went in for the kill. According to the Huffington Post, producer Shonda Rhimes wasn’t impressed.
“1st Reaction:: HELL NO. Lemme take off my earrings, somebody hold my purse! 2nd Reaction: Article is so ignorant I can’t even be bothered.”
Shonda Rhimes has created such diverse shows as Grey’s Anatomy, How To Get Away With Murder, and Scandal. Ms. Rhimes has spoken out at several events about the changing landscape on television. However, Shonda wasn’t the only angry one.
Tomorrow on Deadline Hollywood: "Enough Funny Jews, Already!"
— Dave Itzkoff (@ditzkoff) March 25, 2015
What troubles me is the decision-makers in Hollywood who will read that @Deadline tripe about black actors in television and say, "Exactly."
— Jamil Smith (@JamilSmith) March 25, 2015
Not all people were upset, especially some of the commenters at the actual Deadline article.
“The reporter is correct to warn against an arbitrary quota system and focusing on actor’s skin color rather than a pilot’s writing,” a commenter named “America” wrote.
“I don’t care about the race of the actor or actress. Just cast the best actor or actress for the part, regardless of race,” a commenter named “Murica!” wrote.
Diversity in Hollywood has always been a major issue. It first came into public play in 1996, when movie and casting directors were accused of blocking black actors and actresses from top roles and Academy Award nominations. This issue died down somewhat in the 2000s, but has recently been brought back to the public forum because of people like Shonda Rhimes, Spike Lee, Kerry Washington, and even Al Sharpton. Do you think Shonda Rhimes was right to react to the Deadline article like she did? Let us know in the comments section.
[Photo by Jason LaVeris/Getty Images]