Shonda Rhimes On Netflix Move: ‘I Am The Candy’

Shonda Rhimes
Rodin Eckenroth / Getty Images

There’s been a trend in the last couple of years for major creators of TV series to accept big money deals to leave their traditional network homes in order to create shows for Netflix or other streaming services. Among those that took such a plunge in the last two years were Shonda Rhimes (creator of Grey’s Anatomy, Scandal, and How to Get Away With Murder), Ryan Murphy (American Horror Story, Pose, Feud), and Kenya Barris (Black-ish.) And Jordan Peele’s upcoming version of The Twilight Zone will stream on CBS All Access.

This trend was written about this week in The Wrap, and Shonda Rhimes objected on Twitter to the way her move was described.

In telling the story of the large exodus of behind-the-scenes television talent to streaming services, The Wrap refers to Netflix “luring Rhimes away from ABC Studios,” amid other references to talent being “raided,” with the social media subhead even referring to Rhimes, Murphy, and others being “sucked into the world of steamong [sic.]”

“Why do reporters always say writers were ‘lured,'” Rhimes asked on Twitter. “Like we’re children following a trail of candy. I created a $2B+ revenue stream for a major Corp with my imagination. I do not follow trails of candy. I am the candy.”

Rhimes’ tweet, which brings to mind the “I am the danger/I am the one who knocks” speech from Breaking Bad, had been retweeted 5,000 times and liked over 49,000 times as of Friday morning. Among prominent people in the more than 1,000 replies were journalist Roxane Gay, writer and comedian Whitney Cummings, TV host Robin Theade, actress Yvette Nicole Brown, and actor Zach Braff.

After years with ABC, Rhimes moved to Netflix in a deal announced in September of 2017, reportedly worth over $100 million over four years. The deal means Netflix gets the rights to all new Rhimes series during the terms of the deal, and the first announced project is one about Anna Delvey, the woman who was caught scamming New York high society types earlier this year.

Rhimes’ previous series, including Grey’s Anatomy and How to Get Away With Murder, have continued to air on ABC, although Rhimes has had less day-to-day involvement with them. Scandal wrapped up its eight-season run earlier this year.

There are now no fewer than 160 original series on streaming services this year, and that number is only likely to grow, with Apple, Disney, and Warner Media scheduled to launch their own streaming offerings in 2019.