Sunday’s Emmy Awards featured several firsts: Master of None star Lena Waithe became the first black woman to win a comedy writing award, for example, and Atlanta mastermind Donald Glover was chosen as the first black person to win a comedy directing trophy. But Shonda Rhimes is worried these historic wins might make the television industry think it has made enough progress.
“It’s embarrassing, frankly,” she said of the Emmys to Vanity Fair. “To me, it feels embarrassing that we are still in a place in which we still have to note these moments. … I’m hoping that it’s not a trend. I’m hoping that people don’t feel satisfied because they saw a lot of people win, and then think that we’re done.”
Rhimes, who heads the Shondaland empire and created shows like Grey’s Anatomy and Scandal, has become known for her inclusive — and massively successful — shows. “I really hate the word ‘diversity,'” she said in 2015. “It suggests something other. As if there is something unusual about telling stories involving women and people of color and LGBTQ characters on TV. I have a different word: normalizing. I’m normalizing TV. I am making TV look like the world looks.”
Rhimes’ TGIT lineup returns to ABC later this fall.