Producer and writter Shonda Rhimes attends EMILY's List Breaking Through 2016 at the Democratic National Convention at Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts on July 27, 2016 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
Paul Zimmerman—Getty Images For EMILY's List
October 18, 2016

Fans of Grey’s Anatomy and Scandal have Shonda Rhimes to thank for some of the strongest female characters on television today. Rhimes’ TV shows are known for showcasing powerful and fearless female leads. And now we know why: the 46-year-old Chicago native doesn’t know any “weak and dumb women,”Variety reports.

Speaking in Cannes ahead of receiving the Personality of the Year Award at Mipcom, Rhimes opened up about why she always focuses on creating strong female protagonists for her dramas. “I’m writing heroines who talk like my mothers, like my friends… I never felt that what they said was wild.”

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The Hollywood power player also opened up about featuring diverse casts in her TV shows and said, “I chose not to examine that fact. We make TV characters look like normal people in the real world. We just try to tell the truth.”

For all of her accolades, however, Rhimes doesn’t want to credit her success to cracking the glass ceiling. At The Hollywood Reporter‘s Power Women Event in 2014, Rhimes paid homage to the women before her who helped pave the road for her success. She said, “Making it through the glass ceiling to the other side was simply a matter of running on a path created by every other woman’s footprints. I just hit at exactly the right time in exactly the right spot.”

Rhimes’ next project is a new show named Still Star-Crossed, which is a period drama based on the characters from Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet. It premieres in 2017 and features—you guessed it—a strong female lead.


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