At this year’s Producers Guild Awards, Shonda Rhimes skipped all notions of self-deprecation and surprise when accepting the Norman Lear Award for Achievement, stating: “I’m going to be totally honest with you, I completely deserve this.” The powerhouse producer and writer behind smash TV hits including How to Get Away with Murder, Scandal and Grey’s Anatomy delivered an inspiring speech explaining why she’s seen great success, especially as it pertains to her portrayal of women and people of color in her plot lines—because it’s simply a reflection of what she sees in real life: “Women are smart and strong. They are not sex toys or damsels in distress. People of color are not sassy or dangerous or wise. And, believe me, people of color are never anybody’s sidekick in real life.”
At a time when discussing diversity in entertainment feels more important than ever, Ms. Rhimes words ring loud and clear. For more highlights from her speech, head over to Vulture .