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“I deserve this”: Shonda Rhimes confronts Hollywood's atttitude to women and race in rousing speech

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Sarah Biddlecombe
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She's the creator, head writer, executive producer and show runner of three of television's biggest and most popular series: Grey's Anatomy, Private Practice and Scandal.

So when Shonda Rhimes won the Producers Guild of America (PGA) Award for Achievement in Television on Saturday night we don't blame her for stating, "I'm going to be totally honest with you, I completely deserve this."

Named one of TIME magazine's "100 People Who Help Shape The World" back in 2007, Rhimes could be viewed as a trailblazer, although she is adamant that she's not.

grey's anatomy

Shonda Rhimes is behind the global success of Grey's Anatomy

Speaking on her career, Rhimes insisted she had only written about characters that she recognised in real life.

She said, "There was no blazing and no trails. It’s not trailblazing to write the world as it actually is. Women are smart and strong. They are not sex toys or damsels in distress."

Shonda Rhimes with Kerry Washington, star of Scandal

Shonda Rhimes with Kerry Washington, star of Scandal

Rhimes also spoke about diversity in TV and admitted she feels disheartened that the conversation is still necessary.

She said, "The respect of this award does mean the world. It just makes me a little bit sad. First of all, strong women and three-dimensional people of color is something Norman was doing 40-something years ago. So how come it has to be done all over again? What are we waiting for? I mean, I know this is a room full of producers, so probably you’re waiting for money...

People of color are not sassy or dangerous or wise. And, believe me, people of color are never anybody’s sidekick in real life.”