One of TV's most powerful names is calling out the industry for its lack of LGBTQ representation. According to Variety, Shonda Rhimes explained that LGBTQ people and other marginalised communities aren't being shown on TV and that's a huge problem. Speaking at the Los Angeles LGBT Center's 48th Gala Vanguard Awards, Rhimes said that everyone deserved a realistic portrayal of themselves on television.
"We all exist in the world," Rhimes said at the event. "Everyone has the right the see themselves on the screen, and I think it's really dangerous when that doesn't happen. There is a tendency to marginalise or stereotype when these types of characters aren't seen. People deserve realistic portrayals."
Rhimes was attending to present an award to Valerie Jarrett, former senior advisor to President Barack Obama. According to the Los Angeles Blade, Jarret "was very involved in the repeal of Don't Ask, Don't Tell and lifting the ban against transgender military service." Like Jarrett, Rhimes has worked hard for LGBTQ rights by including queer characters on her own shows, even if that creative decision was met with criticism from her own fan base.
Back in 2014, Rhimes faced backlash from some viewers who noted that her shows — namely Scandal and How to Get Away With Murder — included numerous "gay scenes."
"What gay scenes," Rhimes tweeted back at her critics before adding, "There are no gay scenes. There are scenes with people in them."
With Rhimes' new gig at Netflix, viewers can be sure that she'll take advantage of the "clear, fearless space" offered at the streaming service by chief content officer Ted Sarandos. If that means more LGBTQ representation, then more power to Rhimes and Netflix. If anyone can offer up realistic portrayals of LGBTQ characters, it's Shonda.