Shonda Rhimes is one of the most successful and well known producers/writers in the television industry. She has produced famous shows such as Grey’s Anatomy, Scandal, and How to Get Away with Murder. One of the reasons why her shows are so well liked is because she incorporates a lot of POC. For example, in Scandal and How to Get Away with Murder, the two main characters are both strong, badass, Black women. Although Rhimes has gotten a lot of applause for her diverse casts, she has also gotten criticism because she has used colorblind casting, which refers to writing scrips not based on race, or not thinking about race when casting/creating characters. She did this in hopes of reducing the amount of racial stereotypes that are on television, but ultimately, race became a topic not discussed on her shows. Although Rhimes has diversified (or normalized, as she likes to say) television, do you think her colorblind casting approach a step forward, back, or maybe both in television and representation of POC?


3 responses »

  1. carlywinant says:

    Shonda Rhimes is such an important figure in television today. She has owned Thursday nights for several years. I can definitely understand both sides of the argument to this. On one hand, the show never blatantly talks about a very important issue going on in today’s world. But on the other hand, I understand why Shonda feels this is a way to stop stereotypes around race. I think with colorblind casting, it comes down to how it’s executed on whatever show it’s being used on. And it’s important to acknowledge that Shonda’s shows have certainly broken a lot of barriers not just in race, but in gender, sexuality, and class as well.

  2. I feel that given that Rhimes is able to not think about race/gender when she is writing a script to a television show in and amongst itself is a step in the right direction in the entertainment world. However, I do see the other side of the spectrum, which is that Rhimes never talks about the issue directly. That being said I still believe it is a step in the right direction regardless.

  3. palomapineda19 says:

    I like that you brought up the idea of colorblind casting as this is something that I think the entertainment industry, and specifically the film industry, are struggling to adopt. Though race will always be an integral part to any TV show or film, I think in shows where the central message isn’t about race, I think colorblind casting is something that directors and producers should adopt.

    Though I have only seen a few shows of How to Get Away with Murder, Annalise Keating could be played by an Asian, Hispanic or Black woman (as Viola Davis is casted). However, in the film Crash, each person’s race and racial biases are integral to the theme, and thus colorblind casting would be impossible in order to communicate barriers between different racial stereotypes.

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