This week was one of controversy, after a New York Times television critic referred to Shonda Rhimes as an “angry black woman.” This has led to a petition being filed by ColorOfChange.org and outrage all across the Internet. Rhimes didn’t actually create the new ABC show, “How to get away with Murder,” which the Times critic was evaluating, but her fingerprints are all over it.
The show has gotten good reviews, and appears to be another version of Scandal in a different setting. Medical and legal dramas with soap opera appeal seem to be the formula for Rhimes and it has made her millions. The Times writer is trying to make things right with the public after criticizing Rhimes, but people are pretty unforgiving on this one.
Read more about the backlash:
It was just three weeks ago that the New York Times was vilified over a story calling the slain 18-year-old Michael Brown “no angel,” a mistake partly attributed to insensitive editing. On Friday, critics paid and unpaid leaped on a Times story in which the error was not just about one phrase, but about a mindset that had many wondering why it was still being given a forum.
The offender was Alessandra Stanley, the Times’ television critic, whose premise in a feature onShonda Rhimes, producer of ABC’s “Scandal,” “Grey’s Anatomy” and the new “How to Get Away with Murder,” was that Rhimes was an “angry black woman.”
As Todd Leopold reported for CNN, ” ‘When Shonda Rhimes writes her autobiography, it should be called “How to Get Away With Being an Angry Black Woman,” ‘ Stanley wrote. “The story later observed, ‘Ms. Rhimes has embraced the trite but persistent caricature of the Angry Black Woman, recast it in her own image and made it enviable.’
“Immediately, the Internet reacted, led by a bemused Rhimes, who observed that she didn’t create ‘How to Get Away with Murder.’
” ‘Confused why @nytimes critic doesn’t know identity of CREATOR of show she’s reviewing,’ she tweeted in response to a tweet from Pete Nowalk, who did create the series. (Incidentally, Nowalk — a former ‘Grey’s’ staffer — is a white male.)
“Rhimes was just getting started.