“I’m going to be totally honest with you, I completely deserve this,” Shonda Rhimes said after receiving the Producer Guild Association’s Norman Lear Award for Achievement in Television Saturday night. “I have against the odds, courageously pioneered the art of writing for people of color as if they were human beings. I’ve bravely gone around just casting parts for actors who were the best ones. I fearlessly faced down ABC when they completely agreed with me that Olivia Pope should be black. And I raised my sword heroically and then put it down again when Paul Lee never fought me about any of my storytelling choices.” The delivery of her speech may have been tongue-in-cheek, but as the solo female recipient of the award, Rhimes had good reason to leave self-deprecation at the door.
Rhimes went on to make the larger point that she had not created a new vision for television, but simply insisted on depicting the world as she sees it. “There was no blazing and no trails,” said Rhimes. “It’s not trailblazing to write the world as it actually is. Women are smart and strong. They are not sex toys or damsels in distress. People of color are not sassy or dangerous or wise. And, believe me, people of color are never anybody’s sidekick in real life.”
Here are a few more highlights from her speech:
Taking other producers to task for not making more diverse shows:
“I created the content that I wanted to see and I created what I know is normal. So basically, you are giving me an award for being me, in which case I totally deserve it. Really, I am honored to receive it. The respect of this award does mean the world. It just makes me a little bit sad. First of all, strong women and three dimensional people of color is something Norman [Lear] was doing 40 something years ago. So how come it has to be done all over again? What are we waiting for? I mean, I know this is a room full of producers, so probably you’re waiting for money.”
I am so happy that she took full ownership of that award. Hell yes she deserves it. You can read more snippets of the speech @ the link.
“Since art is merely and ultimately self-expressive, we conclude that the fullest art, the most individual, uninfluenced, unrepressed, uninhibited expression of art is true expression and the true art.”
If you are reading this book with me, let’s begin our journey together. The first Kallithought revolves around the philosophical thought of self preservation; but the biblical premise of being able to supply what every joint needs. When we are introduced to God in the OT, we meet the Creator of the universe and He is creating a perpetual earth and heaven and everything therein. He is giving of His creative genius so you and I can not only exist but live.
Scripturally, we were created in the image of this magnanimous giver who shares His resources and His Son with us. Thus we should resolve to have dominion in the earth just as He does to this day. However, we cannot have dominion over that we don’t understand. God spent days teaching Adam how to have dominion and reign in the earth. Today, we need to transfer the scripture to a modern day context and we need to apply this kingdom system of discipline so that we too can be fruitful or productive in the earth.
We need to practice the discipline of paying ourselves by spending time with God in His Word. This is paying yourself; but, the power is not in Word read but in Word applied. Application means looking at what is happening in the society surrounding us for example a new IPO is has been applied for by Facebook. What is an IPO? Can this be a vehicle for the transference of wealth to the Kingdom of God? Should we formulate small corporations that take advantage of putting monies together in a synergistic pool to increase our share purchase strength? Or are we practicing Christianity in some type of box or vacuum.
It’s time to get out the box and to break out of this recession mindset!