Shonda Rhimes may be a person who’s made her name with her writing, but for a professional wordsmith, she’s awfully short on them when a room full of journalists tries to get her to answer certain types of questions. Like, for instance, what’s going to happen next on any of her Shondaland shows.
“We don’t comment on future storylines,” Rhimes told the room Tuesday at the Television Critics Association press tour. The question? Whether or not she could visualize a storyline where Olivia Pope of “Scandal” ends up as a first lady in the White House. Star Kerry Washington was equally vague about the question, saying only, “I would say I am interested in playing things that Shonda writes.”
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But how does Rhimes feel about the whole TGIT branding thing ABC went with for the night of all her shows? Was she feeling any pressure in that situation? “You know what’s great is that I absolutely don’t worry about things that I have no control over,” Rhimes said. “My job at ABC is to make shows and tell stories, so that is what I spend my time doing.”
Rhimes reserved her strongest non answers for questions regarding her legacy as a person who’s gotten more people of color on TV than possibly any other producer. “I certainly don’t spend any time thinking about legacy, because we’re still doing this,” she said. When pressed about the concept that she might have something to do with the fact that it seems pretty likely that a woman of color will win a Best Actress award at the Emmys for the first time (both Viola Davis and Taraji P. Henson are nominated), she said, “It is a lovely thing that you are saying, but I’m not going to answer that.”
Earlier, ABC president Paul Lee had implied that he thought “Grey’s Anatomy” could go on for many more seasons. And what does Rhimes have to say about that? “I agree with everything that Paul Lee says.”
Glad we could clear all that up.