/Shonda Rhimes Supports Writers Strike, Citing Wage Problem

Shonda Rhimes Supports Writers Strike, Citing Wage Problem

Shonda Rhimes is supporting her striking fellow Hollywood writers — and won’t be crossing any picket lines.

The decorated “Grey’s Anatomy” showrunner, whose “Bridgerton” spinoff “Queen Charlotte” debuted on Netflix hours before the Writers Guild of America began striking, addressed entertainment industry peers Wednesday.

“I really wish that we didn’t have to be on strike, and I feel the pain of the people who are dealing with the strike, but for me, for writers to get paid for what they do in a fair way is far more important,” Rhimes said, per the Reporter.

“To have somebody devalue art, it’s bad enough as it is right now,” Rhimes continued. “That’s happening everywhere. But for writers to not be able to make a living wage while making a television show or making a movie is a problem.”

Rhimes was honored with the BAFTA's Special Award in New York City on Wednesday.
Rhimes was honored with the BAFTA’s Special Award in New York City on Wednesday.

Cindy Ord via Getty Images

Other industry titans also have thrown support behind what the union has called an “existential crisis,” Former “Tonight Show” host Jay Leno, who aired reruns for months during the 2007-2008 WGA strike in support of the guild, handed out donuts Tuesday.

Before accepting her BAFTA award, Rhimes also touched on diversity and inclusion. When asked about a Black actor portraying “Queen Charlotte,” she said creators of color face pressure that their white counterparts never experience.

“Whenever everybody asks that of me, I say, ‘Did you ask John Wells, did you ask this person?’ Like ask the white guys who aren’t doing it,” said Rhimes.

“It’s not hard, but I do think a lot of it is getting uncomfortable and looking around and realizing that your circle is not inclusive of anybody,” she continued. “If you can look around the table and only see yourself, something is wrong with your table. Something is really wrong.”

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