Coffee Rhetoric: Shonda Rhimes
Showing posts with label Shonda Rhimes. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Shonda Rhimes. Show all posts

January 08, 2015

#LessClassicallyBeautiful: Viola Davis Sticks it to New York Times & Mass Media

Photo credit: Kevin Winter/Getty Images
This past September, New York Times writer Alessandra Stanley wrote a passive-aggressive feature on actress Viola Davis and her role in the titillating new series favorite, How to Get Away With Murder. Stanley not only ascribed the ‘Angry Black Woman’ trope to Davis’s character Annalise Keating (and acclaimed TV producer and screenwriter Shonda Rhimes) in the opening paragraph, but she also suggested that the actress inhabited an unlikely position as a leading a woman on Primetime TV, because she isn't as “classically beautiful” as actresses like Halle Berry (who is biracial) and Kerry Washington (whose aesthetic, style and stature are considered 'safe' enough to placate, and even inspire, mainstream TV and film viewers).

September 14, 2014

TV Diversity Report: Networks Decide to Embrace Color This Fall

For years  networks and TV writers have made half-hearted attempts (if any) to diversify casts of popular cable and network shows or to create ethnic characters that deviate from tired racial TV tropes; and when prompted to do so they relent, practically kicking and screaming the entire way, or have fallen flat … leaning heavily on stereotypes or sloppily developed rhetorical devices to prop up popular white cast members or to merely silence TV viewers looking for stories that aren't white-washed.  

Save for well-scripted shows of yore –Living SingleGirlfriends, A Different World and, of course, The Cosby Show and today's steady diet of contrived shenanigans cranked out by the ‘Reality’ TV machine, and until very recently, prime-time network TV’s diversity landscape had been bleak, notwithstanding that Black people surpass the general public in TV consumption, social media and buying power.