Shonda Rhimes bites back at 'angry black woman' label
Shonda Rhimes bites back at 'angry black woman' label

Shonda Rhimes bites back at ‘angry black woman’ label

Executive producer takes issue with review of “How to Get Away With Murder”

Shonda Rhimes is responding to a New York Times critic who called her an “angry black woman” in a review for “How to Get Away With Murder,” the new ABC drama Rhimes is executive producing.

Stanley’s article, titled “Wrought in Their Creator’s Image,” was intended as a review of Rhimes’ soon-to-premiere show, How To Get Away With Murder, but came across as more of an indictment of the show-runner and her work. She began by stating; “When Shonda Rhimes writes her autobiography, in should be called ‘How to Get Away With Being an Angry Black Woman.’” She went on to posit that, “Ms. Rhimes has embraced the trite but persistent caricature of the Angry Black Woman, recast it in her own image, and made it enviable.”

Stanley described Rhimes’ female black characters, as “authority figures with sharp minds and potent libidos who are respected, even haughty members of the ruling elite,” adding that, “They can and do get angry.” She more specifically called How to Get Away With Murder star Viola Davis’ character “sexual and even sexy, in a slightly menacing way.”

Rhimes responded to the piece with humor and more than a touch of sarcasm. When one Twitter user asked if she had seen it, she wrote back, “No. I’ve been too busy being angry and black. Also a woman. Takes up a lot of time.”

Rhimes also pointed out one fact that Stanley apparently missed; while she produces HTGAWM, Peta Nowa, a white man, is actually the head writer. As she tweeted: “Confused why @nytimes critic doesn’t know the identity of CREATOR of show she’s reviewing. @petanowa did you know you were an ‘angry black woman’?” She later added, “Apparently we can be ‘angry black women’ together, because I didn’t know I was one either! @petanowa #LearnSomethingNewEveryday.”


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