The 100 Most Influential People of 2021
Diana King
By Julie Andrews
September 15, 2021 7:19 AM EDT

Shonda Rhimes could have been anything she wanted to be, but her business cards describe her as a “storyteller.” That’s one word, yet there are so many more: rule breaker, world builder, magic maker. She is one of the most powerful creative forces in film and television today. She wields her power uniquely, bravely and imaginatively. And the stories she tells are the stories of all people: all races, colors, creeds, sexual orientations and gender identities.

It’s perhaps clichéd to say that she changed the face of television, but she did. And now, in her next incarnation with her tremendous Netflix deal, we can look forward to so many more gifts from her singular imagination.

I first became aware of Shonda as a writer on the sequel to The Princess Diaries and since then have watched in awe as she masterminded one incredible project after another. She is forever optimistic, courageous and honest, and her humanity and sense of purpose shine through in everything that she touches. As a small participant in her latest pop-culture triumph, Bridgerton, I am proud to call her my boss.

Andrews is an Oscar-, Emmy- and Grammy-winning actor

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