×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Shonda Rhimes Says Sexual Harassment is Not ‘Tricky Territory’

Shonda Rhimes isn’t concerned about the characters on the shows under her Shondaland banner embarking on personal relationships in the workplace, despite such topics being hot-button issues in the news of late.

“I don’t find sexual harassment and abuse in the workplace to be tricky territory,” Rhimes said at ABC’s Television Critics Assn. press tour in Pasadena, Calif. on Monday. “I think it’s very clear what’s appropriate and what’s not.”

Many of the dramas Rhimes executive producers — from “Grey’s Anatomy” to its new, still untitled spinoff, to “Scandal” which is ending this season and “For The People,” which is just about to premiere — explore stories of colleagues dating each other, sleeping with each other, and in some cases marrying each other.

Rhimes deferred to her writers and other producers on the shows to answer whether or not they felt it warranted tackling the topic of sexual harassment on-screen. She noted they deserved the credit for creating the shows, but she acknowledged that at times the shows do live in slightly heightened worlds and therefore exhibit such behavior.

“Work isn’t a place to shoot people in the face, either. Seriously. There’s a lot of stuff that goes on on these shows that’s not appropriate for the real world,” Rhimes continued.

Turning specifically to “For The People,” which launches after the “Me too” and “Time’s Up” movements, executive producer Paul William Davies said there would not be as many characters exploring workplace romances on his legal drama as some past Shondaland series, but it is not a “conscious storytelling choice” because of the real life sexual harassment and abuse stories dominating the current cultural conversation.

“This show has its own energy, and that wasn’t a priority for me in terms of setting up the show. There is certainly romance, and even sex, but it doesn’t come out of the gate in the same way. It’s a little bit of a slower burn,” Davies said.

“For The People” series star Rege-Jean Page reiterated Rhimes’ feelings, though, saying that “if there is confusion about the difference between romance and abuse, then we need to show romance more. There should be no confusion there.”

“For The People” premieres Mar. 13 at 10pm on ABC.

More TV

  • Five Takes on Canal Plus, Federation’s

    Just Days Left to Catch Canal Plus’ ‘The Bureau’ on MyFFF

    The most lauded of titles on this year’s MyFrenchFilmFestival, UniFrance’s online showcase featured by over 50 OTT services around the world, may not be a film but a drama series. With four seasons aired, and a milestone in world sales on a French TV show, slow-boiling espionage series ‘Le Bureau des légendes’ (“The Bureau”) is [...]

  • Walt Disney Archives Founder Dave Smith

    Walt Disney Archives Founder Dave Smith Dies at 78

    Walt Disney Archives founder Dave Smith, the historian who spent 40 years cataloging and preserving the company’s legacy of entertainment and innovation, died Friday in Burbank, Calif. He was 78. Smith served as Disney’s chief archivist from 1970 to 2010. He was named a Disney Legend in 2007 and served as a consultant to the [...]

  • TV Writer Christopher Knopf, Former WGA

    TV Writer Christopher Knopf, Former WGA West President, Dies at 91

    Prolific Emmy-nominated television writer Christopher Edwin Knopf, former president of the Writers Guild of America West, died in his sleep of congestive heart failure on Feb. 13. He was 91. Knopf was born in New York and attended UCLA, leaving during his senior year to join the Air Force during World War II. He finished [...]

  • Jussie Smollett The Black AIDS Insitute

    Jussie Smollett Case: Two Suspects Released Without Charges as New Evidence Emerges

    After two days of questioning, the Chicago Police Department announced Friday evening that it has released two suspects in the Jussie Smollett case without filing charges. Police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi said that detectives had developed new information in the case. Police no longer consider the men to be suspects. “Due to new evidence as a [...]

  • GOTHAM: L-R: Guest star Cameron Monaghan

    TV News Roundup: Fox Drops 'Gotham' Final Season Trailer (Watch)

    In today’s TV news roundup, Fox released a new trailer for an upcoming episode of “Gotham” and Disney has announced the cast for its upcoming “High School Musical” series.  FIRST LOOKS Showtime released a new trailer and the official poster for the upcoming fourth season of “Billions,” premiering March 17 at 9 p.m. ET/PT. In [...]

  • Chris Rock

    Chris Rock to Direct Kenan Thompson Comedy Pilot at NBC

    Chris Rock has come onboard to direct the NBC single-cam comedy pilot “Saving Kenan,” Variety has learned. Rock will also executive produce the pilot, which stars “SNL” mainstay Kenan Thompson. Thompson will play a newly widowed dad determined to be everything for his kids while begrudgingly letting his persistent father-in-law become more involved in their lives [...]

  • Peak TV Saturation TV Placeholder

    Apollo Global Management Buys Majority Stake in Cox TV Stations

    Private equity giant Apollo Global Management has cut a deal with Atlanta-based Cox Enterprises to buy a majority stake in Cox’s 13 TV stations as well as three newspapers and a handful of radio stations in Ohio. Apollo has been in the hunt for broadcast TV stations for some time. Cox’s station group, which includes [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content