We could add commentary to New York Times Television Critic Alessandra Stanley’s overview of Shonda Rhimes’ many television shows and the complicated black female characters at the center, but do you really want that? Rather, let’s just take some stuff out of context, and trust me, it’s even worse in toto. To wit:
When Shonda Rhimes writes her autobiography, it should be called “How to Get Away With Being an Angry Black Woman.”
Even now, six years into the Obama presidency, race remains a sensitive, incendiary issue not only in Ferguson, Mo., but also just about everywhere except ShondaLand, as her production company is called.
As Annalise, Ms. Davis, 49, is sexual and even sexy, in a slightly menacing way, but the actress doesn’t look at all like the typical star of a network drama.
Maybe it’s karma, or just coincidence with a sense of humor, but some of the more memorable actresses in that movie [The Help]… are now all on network television, only this time, the help is on top. [She is referring to Allison Janney, Octavia Spencer, and Viola Davis.]
They [Rhimes’ heroines] have innate dignity, not the cautious facade of propriety that Wanda Sykes mocks in routines about her mother’s not allowing her children to dance in front of white people.
If Shonda Rhimes were in charge of that show, Ms. Pounder would be the star, not Scott Bakula, and she would wear ivory and cream designer suits to crime scenes in the bayou, reign as queen of her krewe at the Mardi Gras ball and also advise the governor’s re-election campaign.
Ms. Rhimes has embraced the trite but persistent caricature of the Angry Black Woman, recast it in her own image and made it enviable. She has almost single-handedly trampled a taboo even Michelle Obama couldn’t break.