Twitter got fired up over the weekend after a follower complained to television showrunner Shonda Rhimes that “gay scenes in “Scandal” and “How to Get Away with Murder” are too much and they add nothing to the plot.” The two ABC dramas both feature gay male characters in the regular cast. But Rhimes is not one to mess with (the New York Times learned that lesion) and shot down the tweeter with a series of tweets.
“There are no GAY scenes. There are scenes with people in them. If you are suddenly discovering that Shondaland shows have scenes involving people who are gay, you are LATE TO THE PARTY. If u use the phrase “gay scenes”, u are not only LATE to the party but also NOT INVITED to the party. Bye Felicia. #oneLOVE.”
Rhimes, who executive produces both shows and who has spoken up in support of the LGBT community in the past, took her leave from Twitter shortly after, but first shared a message to her followers. “Ok, tweeps. Someone got me all riled up and fighting 4 my friends and their love and the equality of all—I am supposed to be WRITING. So, I know you lovelies are asking me questions but I have to go. And finish making script notes. So you have more #GreysAnatomy to watch. I love all you Tweeples. Even the ones who still need to grow. And remember that at some point, someone discriminated against you too. I don’t know why this kind of hate is out there. Ugh. #onelove. At least in Shondaland. Have a great rest of your weekend!”
There may be some fans who may think that Rhimes overreacted. But the writer read between the lines in that the tweeter was basically expressing her disgust over seeing two men kissing and acting out sex scenes. Anyone who watches “Scandal” and “How To Get Away With Murder” knows that these are sexually charged shows. Last season it seemed like everyone was having sex on “Scandal” with the exception of Pop Pope. While the gay male character on “How To Get Away With Murder” seems to use sex as his primary method for getting murder trial evidence, a tragic scene involving another gay character in a recent episode shows that Rhimes does not take lightly the struggles of LGBT persons.
Rhimes previously has declared her commitment to portraying LGBT characters on her shows and received a Golden Gate Award from GLAAD in 2012 for being a “media professional who has made a significant difference in promoting LGBT equality,” as reported by HuffingtonPost.com/Gay Voices.
“I think that love is universal,” Rhimes said in her GLAAD acceptance speech. “And I think in telling LGBT stories, I’m telling everyone’s story. Love is, in fact, universal, right? … I want my daughters to grow up in a world in which there is more love than hate. I want them to know a world where everyone is free. So that’s why I write the stories that I do, because everyone should be free.”
Rhimes’s shows epitomize diversity and inclusion. Kudos.