Watch: Grey’s Anatomy’s Jesse Williams & Queen Latifah Slam NY Times’ Offensive Shonda Rhimes Profile
The two also discussed the show’s creator Shonda Rhimes and the controversial New York Times article that described her as “an angry black woman.”
“It’s almost giving it too much credit to call it a ‘New York Times article,’” Jesse said in the clip above. “It’s very odd that it was in the New York Times.”
Written by TV critic Alessandra Stanley, the clichéd and tone-deaf profile states that “When Shonda Rhimes writes her autobiography, it should be called ‘How to Get Away With Being an Angry Black Woman.’”
It was created and written by Peter Norwalk, a white male. Shonda is an executive producer, along with Norwalk, Bill D’Elia, Betsy Beers.
“@petenowa did u know u were ‘an angry black woman’?” Shonda tweeted in response last Friday. “Apparently we can be “angry black women” together, because I didn’t know I was one either! How come I am not “an angry black woman” the many times Meredith (or Addison!) rants?”
“This person knows zero about Shonda Rhimes,” Jesse responded in disgust. “It’s the same stuff over and over again.”
“I read the article and I thought, ‘First of all, this thing is too long,’” Latifah added. “I got bored with being offended.”
Jesse sniped back in agreement: “She’s exhausted by yet another show with a black woman in it, yea all all two of them. That must be super exhausting. Really… I feel sorry for you! As if women having a spine or a passion or being able to speak back to male figures is somehow a drag?”
“Do you know how many characters Shonda Rhimes has created?,” he continued. “Iconic, iconic characters, and how diverse they are? ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ is the most incredible example of how it’s perfectly doable to have a diverse cast of people who are representing themselves and are whole human beings, and are not demonstratively Black or Asian, or female or Latino… Just people being people.”
The Wrap reports that of the backlash has put focus on diversity issues at the New York Times itself, which has 20 cultural critics — only two of which are people of color.
Catch The Queen Latifah Show on weekdays at 1:00 pm on FOX/3:00 pm on ABC, and watch Grey’s Anatomy every Thursday at 8:00 pm on ABC before Scandal and How To Get Away With Murder.