Shonda Rhimes is one of the most prominent women in television today as the creator of Grey’s Anatomy, Private Practice and Scandal. She’s also frequently recognized as one of the leading voices behind the advancement of women and African-Americans in media. Despite all this success, she doesn’t feel that women are treated better in entertainment.
The Hollywood Reporter reports that Rhimes was awarded the Sherry Lansing Leadership Award at THR’s Women in Entertainment Breakfast. In her acceptance speech, she claimed that she never broke the glass ceiling – a political concept that describes the unspoken barrier that keeps women and minorities out of the upper corporate hierarchy. Instead, she says that she’s just one of many women who are slowly making things better for the women of the future.
“‘Do they know I haven’t broken through any glass ceilings,’ I asked my publicist. He assures me that I have. I assure him that I have not. I have not broken through any glass ceilings. If I had broken through any glass ceilings, I would know,” said Rhimes. “If I had broken through a glass ceiling, I would have felt some cuts, I would have some bruises, there’d be shards of glass in my hair. … If I’d broken the glass ceiling, that would mean I made it through to the other side, where the air is rare. I would feel the wind on my face.”
You can watch the whole acceptance speech below:
With this award, Rhimes joins the ranks of other amazing women in entertainment, like Oprah Winfrey, Diane Keaton and Jane Fonda.
The award’s namesake – Sherry Lansing – thanked Rhimes for making it better for women in television:
“I am a huge fan of Shonda’s. I’m totally addicted to Scandal — and I think all of us are,” Lansing said. “Shonda has redefined the role of women in television, and, in doing so, society as well. She has given us complex and diverse characters and she has made all of us want to be Gladiators. Thank you for accepting this award; it means a great deal to me and I am truly honored.”
— Hollywood Reporter (@THR) December 11, 2014
The First Lady even chimed in saying that Rhimes is going to change history. In fact, she feels that the current climate women face in the entertainment industry is going to feel like “ancient history” once Rhimes is done. The time that the First Lady describes can not come soon enough.