30 of Shonda Rhimes' Stars Respond to New York Times' "Angry Black Woman" Column

'Grey's Anatomy,' 'Scandal,' 'Private Practice' and 'How to Get Away With Murder' stars weigh in
ABC
Kerry Washington, Chandra Wilson, Viola Davis

It's nearly impossible to describe Shonda Rhimes, the prolific producer behind Grey's Anatomy, Scandal and How to Get Away With Murder, in only three words. But that effectively is what happened Friday when a New York Times feature designed to put the spotlight on Rhimes' ability to break down stereotypes essentially reduced the prolific showrunner to an "angry black woman."

The story went viral — for all the wrong reasons. The article, which referenced black characters like Grey's Anatomy's Miranda Bailey (Chandra Wilson), Scandal's Olivia Pope (Kerry Washington) and How to Get Away With Murder's Annalise Keating (Viola Davis), sparked an immediate response from Rhimes. "Wait. I'm 'angry' AND a ROMANCE WRITER?!! I'm going to need to put down the internet and go dance this one out. Because ish is getting real," she wrote. The backlash stretched beyond Rhimes, with Shondaland stars including Josh Malina and Bellamy Young expressing their dismay at the story.

With stars and producers from all three shows gathered Saturday night in Hollywood to kickoff the fall's Shondaland "TGIT" programming block, The Hollywood Reporter asked more than 30 stars to describe Rhimes in three words — other than "angry black woman." Here's what they said.

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Kerry WashingtonScandal
Brilliant, compassionate, courageous

Chandra WilsonGrey's Anatomy
Writer, shy, decisive

Viola DavisHow to Get Away With Murder
Innovative, courageous, visionary

Kevin McKiddGrey's Anatomy
Inspirational, intuitive, deeply passionate

Bellamy YoungGrey's Anatomy, Private Practice, Scandal
Genius life-changer

Tom VericaGrey's Anatomy, Private Practice, Scandal, How to Get Away With Murder
Beautiful, gifted, powerful

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Caterina ScorsoneGrey's Anatomy, Private Practice
Kaleidoscopic, nuanced, compassionate

Betsy Beers, Shondaland partner
Gracious, brilliant, entertaining

Paul AdelsteinPrivate Practice, Scandal
Generous, genius, writer

Jessica CapshawGrey's Anatomy
Brave, powerful, kind

Jeff PerryScandal, Grey's Anatomy
Artistically subversive, remarkably inclusive

Kate BurtonGrey's Anatomy, Scandal
Amazing, storyteller, maverick

Sara RamirezGrey's Anatomy
Ambitious, leader, brilliant

Scott FoleyGrey's Anatomy, Scandal
Creative, sexy gal

Katie LowesPrivate Practice, Grey's Anatomy, Scandal
Brilliant, beautiful, caring

Jerrika HintonGrey's Anatomy, Scandal
Master of drama

Guillermo DiazScandal
Poised, compassionate, loving

Darby StanchfieldScandal, Private Practice
Golden-age TV goddess

Camilla LuddingtonGrey's Anatomy
Talented, strong, incredible

Liza WeilHow to Get Away With Murder, Scandal, Private Practice, Grey's Anatomy
Lovely, gifted, troubadour

Billy BrownHow to Get Away With Murder
Savvy, intelligent, cool

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Kelly McCrearyGrey's Anatomy, Scandal
Brilliant, creative, passionate

Joe MortonScandal
Very talented genius

Katie FindlayHow to Get Away With Murder
Total badass

Jon TenneyScandal
An amazing storyteller

George NewbernScandal, Grey's Anatomy, Private Practice
Giving, smart, silly

Portia de RossiScandal
Elegant, brilliant, kind

Alfred EnochHow to Get Away With Murder
Supportive, welcoming, nourishing

Aja Naomi King, How to Get Away With Murder
Brilliant, capable, career woman

Karla SouzaHow to Get Away With Murder
Magnetic, fierce, wonderful

Charlie WeberHow to Get Away With Murder
Warm, amazing boss

Matt McGorryHow to Get Away With Murder
Visionary, powerful, trailblazing

Grey's Anatomy, Scandal and How to Get Away With Murder air Thursdays from 8-11 p.m. on ABC.

Email: Lesley.Goldberg@THR.com
Twitter: @Snoodit

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