How to Get Away with Murder, Scandal, and Grey's Anatomy

Izzy+Sio+16

Izzy Sio ’16

The notoriously edgy American screenwriter, director, and producer Ms. Shonda Rhimes dominates Thursday nights on ABC from 8:00 pm to 10:00 pm. Her three television shows, Grey’s Anatomy, Scandal, and How to Get Away with Murder, have gained recognition for not only their suspense and thrill but also for their diverse cast members.
In early January, Ms. Rhimes was presented the 2014 Directors Guild of America Diversity Award. Though honored, Ms. Rhimes was a little perplexed by the award itself.
“We’re a little [upset] because there still needs to be an award. Like, there’s such a lack of people hiring women and minorities that when someone does it on a regular basis, they are given an award,” Ms. Rhimes said, according to insidetv.ew.com.

Izzy Sio '16
Izzy Sio ’16

Ms. Rhimes aims to give a voice to all minorities and does so by having typically unrepresented characters hold powerful roles in her shows. In Grey’s Anatomy, which has been on the air for 11 years, the Chief of Surgery is an African American man and the head of the hospital is an Asian woman. In How to Get Away With Murder, the main character is an African American woman, and in Scandal, the White House Chief of Staff is homosexual.
“Shonda Rhimes does not pick the typical main star, and that’s what I like most about her,” Convent of the Sacred Heart senior Meg Gerli said. “She includes so many different races in her shows which makes her shows appealing to a much larger audience.”
According to hollywoodreporter.com, on the premiere night of Ms. Rhimes’ three shows, ABC  received its highest-rated Thursday night in five years, with How to Get Away With Murder topping both Scandal and Grey’s Anatomy in ratings. 
“If it weren’t hubristic of me to say, I would categorize Shonda Rhimes as a writing god,” junior Alessandra Nocco said. “She is so creative and is such a great person to look up to. As a minority, Shonda is changing the game and deserves all the recognition and respect she is receiving thus far.”
During an interview with the nypost.com, Ms. Rhimes explains that she feels as if everyone should be represented equally on television. In a TIME article written by Ms. Oprah Winfrey, she acknowledges Ms. Rhimes’ ability to provide a voice for the voiceless.
“Gay, straight, single, divorced, lost, searching – everybody gets a seat at Shonda’s table. She creates an assemblage of worldly foibles and aspirations,” Ms. Winfrey said. “She understands that every dream is valuable and every identity deserves inspection through the looking glass of television.”
Ms. Rhimes is making history. In addition to highlighting minorities in her shows, she also creates works that revolutionize mainstream media according to writer for The Huffington Post Mr. Justin Young.
“This is historic, not just because she is a woman, not just because she is black, and not just because she is Shonda Rhimes; this is unprecedented for anyone and has never been done in television before on this scale,” Mr. Young said according to huffingtonpost.com.
– Jessica Johnson, Sports & Health Editor and Co-Video Content Editor