Let me tell y’all something.
I am a fan of Shonda Lynn Rhimes. I love her, revere her like I do my own aunts. So, for for me to hear that she LEFT ABC(!!) over a $154 Disney land pass?!
Oh, fam. Y’all didn’t think that I would just not say anything about this here!
As a writer that is at the intersection of Black and woman, I am careful as to who I put in the spot of hero. Shonda is my hero, and as been for the better part of a decade. I love her fierceness, her boldness, and SIS CAN WRITE! So, the fact that she was disrespected like this? And her family embarrassed like this? It further reminds me of just how ensconced racism and the mistreatment of Black women is–no matter how much money they make.
If you have not heard, Shonda Lynn Rhimes–creator of Grey’s Anatomy, SCANDAL, and How To Get Away With Murder–left ABC because she was not given a $154 Disneyland pass. Now, to the non-melaninated this may not seem to be an issue. But let me tell you why it is.
One. Shonda Rhimes has created over a billion dollars of revenue to a company no one was really checking for. This pass (according to reports) was not an uncommon perk to ABC employees. It doesn’t matter how much money she is worth (at last count, over $300 million), her employer would not give her a perk/benefit that other employees got.
Two. The fact that she was given this ‘pass’, her family used it, and it was found not to work? ABC executives knew they tried this. And when she called to ask about this, she was told ‘Don’t you have enough?’ See. No. It doesn’t matter how much money she has! You don’t say this to the person that helps to keep you paid, sir! As a mother, I can only imagine the level of rage, fury and hurt that went through her. Quite plainly, I would have left too.
Three. What I love is Shonda left. She took her talent, her skill, and her pen WITH HER! She didn’t want to hear apologies, she didn’t want gifts–she wanted respect. This is what this boils down to! Shonda Rhimes couldn’t get the respect she was due because someone thought Shonda is still ‘Black’, she shouldn’t ‘get’ anything else-and she should take what is given to her! I see this in the life of ambitious, driven Black women all the time. There are people who seek to ‘knock us down a little’ in order to keep us humble. Nah, let’s just be more honest about this. There are people who don’t want to see Black women do, or become, or surpass. The fact that Shonda regrouped (I imagine she cried, screamed and had a shot of something), and called her lawyer to say, “I want to go, make that happen now”? I am absolitely here for.
Stop playing with Black women. We are not playing with y’all. Anymore. Not at all.
[image from IndieWire]