NY Times, Check Your Stereotypes at the Door When Discussing Shonda Rhimes’ Work

And even if Rhimes’ shows weren’t diverse and instead featured a group of African-American actors and actresses exchanging intense lines about their complicated lives, it’s frustrating that the New York Times would use such a charged stereotype to describe black female characters who are living layered lives. I mean, when white female characters get together and vent or emote in a scene, they are not described as “angry.” Rhimes, in response to the article, tweeted about that double standard by referencing a white character from Grey’s Anatomy:

Plus, “angry black woman” is the convenient shorthand used by those who refuse to acknowledge or recognize how layered black women really are. We’re human. Or by people who misinterpret our emotions and project their own thoughts onto us.

Rhimes created a few characters who emote from time to time and happen to be black women, and all of a sudden some writer threaded those projects together and came to the conclusion that “angry black women” are now “enviable,” relatable and a bit more appealing because of Rhimes’ writing. What Stanley needs to understand is that those characters weren’t angry to begin with.

Rhimes decided to take the high road and step away from her computer to dance off some steam after reading the article.

I’d like to think that she knew Twitter would say all of the things she was thinking. And boy, did they do just that:

Diana Ozemebhoya Eromosele is a staff writer at The Root and the founder and executive producer of Lectures to Beats, a Web series that features expert advice for TV and film’s most complex characters. Follow Lectures to Beats on Facebook and Twitter.

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