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Shonda Rhimes was inducted into the National Association of Broadcasters’ Broadcasting Hall of Fame on Monday at the NAB Show in Las Vegas.
Accepting the honor, the creator and executive producer of Grey’s Anatomy, Scandal and How to Get Away With Murder admitted that she’s surprised when people emphasize the diversity in her casts. “To me that was not a brave or special decision, it was a human [decision]. It wasn’t one that I had to fight for, because ABC is also made up of humans,” she said.
She added that she’s proud that her shows have enabled a “national conversation” about current issues — from HIV testing to police shootings to abortion. “TV provides a world were we can do that. … and escape our lives. [TV] provides us a change to travel — and walk in someone else’s shoes.”
Rhimes is also pleased that these programs are often viewed in real time, saying, “the metaphorical gathering around a campfire to hear a story is still happening.”
Also during the event, Black-ish’s Tracee Ellis Ross was presented the NAB Television Chairman’s Award. Ross remembered watching “heros” Lucille Ball and Carol Burnett, and said “I love TV. … I love being an actress, but it’s the writing. I’ve been blessed.”
The late Lowell “Bud” Paxson was honored during the ceremony with the NAB Spirit of Broadcasting Award. Wayne Newton and Sharon Stone — remembering Paxson as a “true giant of broadcasting” who was “fair, good and kind” -— presented the award to Paxson’s wife, Marla.
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