Shonda Rhimes Talks Being The Highest Paid Showrunner In Television & The Struggles Of Women In Hollywood
Shonda Rhimes has undoubtedly redefined what it means to deliver impactful television while also celebrating women at the same time. Shondaland has delivered shows like “Scandal,” “How To Get Away With Murder,” and “Grey’s Anatomy;” shows that possess multiple strong female leads as they tackle real life stories in an entertaining way. As Rhimes has trudged through the murky waters of Hollywood, she is now ready to claim her seat at the table. During a recent speech, the content creator spoke candidly why it’s time for women to start bragging like the boys and why she is the highest paid showrunner in television. Check out a few excerpts from her speech below.
The double standards between men and women in Hollywood:
A little while ago in an inspiring article, Ellen [Pompeo] told the world she was the highest paid woman in dramatic television. She did not hide. She bragged. She said she was powerful and she said she deserved it. And there was some blowback. And there should not have been. I have seen a thousand articles like that from men, but she’s a woman and she shouldn’t say things like that. She should hide. I was really mad on her behalf but then what did I go and do.
Ryan Murphy, bless your amazingly talented heart. When Ryan, who is here, made his amazing deal with Netflix what did he do? He shouted his salary to the world and he did this gorgeous cover shoot for the Hollywood Reporter. He deserved every minute of it and I applauded him. When I made a deal with Netflix, I let them report my salary wrong in the press and I did as few interviews as possible. Then I put my head down and worked. In other words, I hid. I’m getting this award for inspiring other women and how can I inspire anyone if I’m hiding?
How she came to terms with being the highest paid showrunner in television
So, let me take a deep breath. And on behalf of women everywhere in the name of not leaving my sister hanging, I will brag. I got to say this is harder than I thought. I am the highest paid showrunner in television.
What she’s learned about the impact of women she’s worked with:
Throughout my career, and every turn, and every step, I have found at the heart of every last one of my successes profound and amazing women with whom I have the good fortune to work. With whom I’ve formed incredible sisterhood bonds. Women so different from me who have changed who I am in my core. All of the extraordinary women I work with at Shondaland. The unbelievable posse of women in power and friendship with the women of Time’s Up. My nanny who is basically the single most important working woman on the planet.
Her message to women around the World:
At every turn, there are women, good women, great women, leaning on and learning from and leading one another. That inspiration, hard work, and community make it feel a little easier to fight this good fight. I tell you this story of Ellen and me because I want to make a point. This point. The struggle we are in the midst of that feels so hard is hard but it is not impossible. Not if you have a community. A real one. A supportive one. And tonight we have one another but there are women out there who are struggling alone. Who do not have other women on their set. Who may be the only person of color in their company. Who may be older than you are used to, or younger, or browner, or less abled. Women you have forgotten to include in your conversations and your world.