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Sorry But Criticizing A TV Show For Its Lack Of Diversity Does Not Equal “Woman Hate”

June 22nd, 2012 | 4 comments | Posted by Jen

I’ve heard this argument in discussions about the lack of diversity on HBO’s Girls and I’m hearing it again now with ABC Family’s Bunheads. The argument is: If you’re criticizing this show, which is for, by, and about girls/women, you’re misogynist.

Bullshit.

This week, Bunheads creator Amy Sherman-Palladino, of Gilmore Girls fame, responded to criticism made by Grey’s Anatomy creator Shonda Rhimes about the lack of diversity on Sherman-Palladino’s new series about ballerinas with this exact argument:

“I’ve always felt that women, in a general sense, have never supported other women the way they should…I think it’s a shame, but to me, it is what it is.”

Sherman-Palladino, who says she has never met Rhimes before, went on to say that with the increased demands on showrunners — particularly while getting a new program on the air — there’s no room for criticism among peers. “I wouldn’t do it. I wouldn’t go after another woman. I, frankly, wouldn’t go after another showrunner,” she said.

Showrunner-to-showrunner professional courtesies aside–think how awkward running into each other in the ladies’ room at the Emmys will be!–Sherman-Palladino’s assessment of the situation, not to mention her assertion of victimhood, is utterly facile and self-serving.

Here is Rhimes’ actual tweet:

It’s important to note here that Rhimes directed her criticism at @abcfbunheads, the official Twitter for the ABC Family show. ABC Family is a subsidiary of Disney-ABC, which owns all of the shows Rhimes has developed, created, or had her name attached to since her TV career began. In reality, her tweet is less an attack on Sherman-Palladino than a calling-out of the network Rhimes has made richer. The people who resent the lack of diversity criticism directed at shows like Girls and Bunheads will be the first to tell you that the lack of diversity on TV is a systemic problem. Which is why Rhimes being called a woman-hater for pointing out that there isn’t even one non-white ballerina on Bunheads Continue reading Sorry But Criticizing A TV Show For Its Lack Of Diversity Does Not Equal “Woman Hate”

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Oh, What a Knight

July 23rd, 2009 | 0 comments | Posted by Diana

In this week’s Entertainment Weekly, Grey’s Anatomy star T.R. Knight discusses why he’s the latest original cast member to fly the coop of the hit show.


Writer Michael Ausiello shared an exclusive excerpt from the story on EW.com:

“This fall, Knight was surprised to see his character George O’Malley all but vanish from the show — for the first nine episodes of season 5, he appeared on screen a total of only 48 minutes, compared to 114 for Sandra Oh’s Christina. Still, due to what he calls a gradual ‘breakdown of communication’ between himself and exec producer Shonda Rhimes, the actor chose not to ask his boss what was going on with his character. Instead, he simply asked to leave.”

I’m sure Grey’s ain’t no picnic, and don’t wanna hate on O’Malley or nuffin’, but let’s just make a fine distinction between that character and Christina Yang (Sandra Oh’s). Yang is a Type-A, no-nonsense, nuts-and-bolts, Asian female that settles only for perfection and wants nothing but to be the best. O’Malley is a self-doubting, doughy, little guy, that operates from a place of love and oh, happens to be a damn fine surgeon.

I’m from a family of docs, yo. People like O’Malley simply don’t exist. I’ve got three Yangs IN MY NUCLEAR FAMILY ALONE.

All I’m saying is that maybe the loss of screen time had something to do with the unrealistic nature of the George O’Malley character. I have never met a nice, cuddly surgeon–not EVER. They’re as real as jackalopes and unicorns and reasonably-priced airport food and short DMV lines. Anybody that says otherwise is a big, fat liar.

So perhaps Grey’s is simply taking a turn towards truthfulness.

…It is TV, though. That’d be a first.

[EW's Ausiello Files: This week's cover: 'Grey's Anatomy' star T.R. Knight reveals why he left the hit show]

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