Why Shonda Rhimes Thinks The Emmys Are Embarrassing

The three leading ladies of TGIT

It's been a great time to be a TV fan in the past few weeks. The fall months bring season premiers of returning and new shows, and this past Sunday was the 69th Emmy Awards, which acknowledged some of the best that the small screen has to offer. This year's winners were a refreshingly diverse group of artists, as more people of color and women were awarded than we'd seen in previous years. And while this was an exciting moment to celebrate, especially winners who were the first POC's to win certain categories, Shonda Rhimes isn't so jazzed. The Grey's Anatomy and Scandal creator actually found the ceremony a bit embarrassing, here's why.

It's embarrassing, frankly. To me, it feels embarrassing that we are still in a place in which we still have to note these moments. ... I'm hoping that it's not a trend. I'm hoping that people don't feel satisfied because they saw a lot of people win, and then think that we're done.

While Shonda Rhimes' comments to Vanity Fair might be a bit of a downer, she certainly has a point. Although Emmys were given to plenty of people besides white men, this type of change probably should have occurred years ago. So while Rhimes is happy to celebrate the winners of this year's awards, she finds it embarrassing that so many of these firsts are happening in 2017.

And there were plenty of milestones that occurred during Sundays' award ceremony, particularly for black entertainers in the television industry. Donald Glover is at the top of the list, winning two awards for his FX series Atlanta. On Sunday he became the very first black person to win an Emmy for comedy writing, while he also took home one for his performance in the show (which is the first time a black man has won the Leading Actor category since 1985). Master of None star Lena Waithe also became the first black woman to win the award for Outstanding Writing for a Comedy Series, for her work alongside Aziz Anzari.

This year's Emmys also contained a groundbreaking award for South Asian actors, as Rogue One's Riz Ahmed won an Emmy for his acclaimed performance in HBO's The Night Of. So while it would seem like a great time to celebrate, Shonda Rhimes has another idea.

Because Shonda Rhimes has always written for diverse and inclusive casts, it was just a matter of Hollywood and the world catching up to what the writer/director/producer already knew. And Grey's Anatomy, Scandal, and How to Get Away With Murder have all been rewarded Emmys during their run, with the latter earning the great Viola Davis an Emmy of her very own.

Shonda Rhimes' night of television is set to return September 28, 2017, with all three TGIT shows coming back for new seasons. In the meantime, check out our fall premiere list to plan your next binge watch.

Corey Chichizola
Movies Editor

Corey was born and raised in New Jersey. Double majored in theater and literature during undergrad. After working in administrative theater for a year in New York, he started as the Weekend Editor at CinemaBlend. He's since been able to work himself up to reviews, phoners, and press junkets-- and is now able to appear on camera with some of his favorite actors... just not as he would have predicted as a kid.