Shonda Rhimes is the most successful Black female executive in television history. She has three successful shows on the air, one in production and one forthcoming. She has 14 NAACP Image Awards, she’s a three-time Emmy nominee, she has a book out called Year Of Yes and she recently lost over 100 pounds. But she says it’s not those accomplishments that generated the most praise. What did? When Rhimes had a man.
In a recent interview with NPR, Rhimes says that despite her lengthy list of accomplishments and historical firsts, having a man is the one thing that generated the most positive response from the most folks.
“I have never gotten so much approval and accolades and warmth and congratulations as when I had a guy on my arm that people thought I was going to marry,” Rhimes told NPR. “It was amazing. I mean nobody congratulated me that hard when I had my three children. Nobody congratulated me that hard when I won a Golden Globe or a Peabody or my 14 NAACP Image Awards. But when I had a guy on my arm that people thought I was going to marry, people lost their minds like Oprah was giving away cars. It was unbelievable. … I was fascinated by it because I thought, like, I am not Dr. Frankenstein, I didn’t make this guy — he just is there. Everything else I actually had something to do with.”
Rhimes says that she reflects her character’s struggles with love and relationships. But she also says even though many of her female characters yearn for love and romance, there are women in real life that truly don’t want the married with kids norm and that she feels that they are marginalized to the point they have to be quiet about it.
“Saying I don’t want to get married, or I don’t want to have kids are two of the biggest taboos for women to admit in our culture. And it’s fascinating to me how many women I know who don’t want to have kids who sort of keep it under wraps, like it’s their secret. … I have a friend who’s got a theory that if she just waits everybody out, people will start to think she’s infertile and people will think it’s too rude to ask. …”
Rhimes book, Year Of Yes is in stores and available for Kindle or other download now.
Do you agree with Rhimes? Do women, no matter how accomplished, get the most credit for finding a husband?
(Photo: Simon and Schuster, James White)