ABC/Todd Wawrychuk(NEW YORK) — In a time when Deadline pens an article that argues perhaps TV is now too diverse, Shonda Rhimes is also sounding off about diversity on the small screen.
“Literally everybody’s starring in a pilot. I think that’s wonderful. Part of me thinks, ‘Well that’s wildly racist of all the networks to suddenly decide that the best way to get a show on the air is to just throw a black woman on it.’ Yet part of me feels like, ‘For God’s sake, it’s about time! If they’re going to be stupid, let’s use their stupidity,'” she says in the May issue of Essence magazine.
On the cover, Rhimes is joined by Debbie Allen, Selma director Ava DuVernay, Being Mary Jane creator Mara Brock Akil and Issa Rae.
Rhimes continues that she doesn’t think more diversity on TV is a “trend.”
“It’s an economic fact,” she clarifies in the issue, which hits newsstands on Friday. “There are more people of color in this country than there ever have been before. We’re going to reach a tipping point, and I think it’s 2018, in which the number of young people in this country becomes more than the number of young people not of color in this country.”
Rhimes continues, “You can’t ignore what’s happening economically, when you put a show like Empire on television and it’s doing bigger numbers than a show like The Big Bang Theory. It’s just clear that there is an economic force and the corporations can’t deny that. When the shows start doing bigger numbers than what they think are going to be their big ten shows, it becomes really hard to suggest that it’s a trend.”
Rhimes currently owns Thursday nights on ABC with her shows Grey’s Anatomy and Scandal. Previously, How to Get Away with Murder — which she produces — also aired on Thursdays before ending its first-season run earlier this year. It’s been picked up for a second season.
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