Shonda Rhimes Blasts "Ignorant" Article On Casting Minorities On TV

Photo: Matt Baron/BEImages.
A Deadline article has become the talk of the town — for all the wrong reasons. Readers, including showrunner Shonda Rhimes, are reeling over the suggestion that TV has somehow become too diverse. 

Yesterday, the entertainment site posted an article by writer Nellie Andreeva that drew attention to the more prominent role minority actors are enjoying this TV season thanks to popular programs like Empire, How to Get Away with Murder, Black-ish, and more. Rather than lauding this move towards diversity, Andreeva questioned whether or not this trend — in which "ethnic castings" are reportedly preferred over using white performers — is "too much of a good thing." 

Andreeva's argument is this: With pilot season in full swing, agents claim their white clients are being passed over in favor of people of color as studios try to "fulfill an ethnic quota." 

"A lot of what is happening right now is long overdue," Andreeva added. "The TV and film superhero ranks have been overly white for too long, workplace shows should be diverse to reflect workplace in real America, and ethnic actors should get a chance to play more than the proverbial best friend or boss. But replacing one set of rigid rules with another by imposing a quota of ethnic talent on each show might not be the answer. Empire, Black-ish, Jane the Virgin, and Fresh Off the Boat have been breakouts because they represent worlds and points of view that were not on TV..."

Andreeva also wondered if the growth in Black TV viewership had "reached its peak," given that African-Americans comprise just 13% of the population.

Not surprisingly, the questioning of "ethnic quotas" didn't sit well with many readers — Shonda Rhimes included. The executive producer of Scandal, Grey's Anatomy, and How to Get Away with Murder blasted the article on Twitter. 
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Rhimes, whose shows were cited as an example of showcasing actors of color, was not the only one outraged by the article. Behold, a few of the most cutting Twitter reactions.

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