Why Shonda Rhimes Wants More Women To Brag About Their Accomplishments

"I am the highest-paid showrunner in television."

Television producer Shonda Rhimes revealed in a speech at Elle's recent Women in Hollywood event that she is the highest-paid showrunner in television. Not only is the accomplishment itself significant, but so is the fact that she chose to declare it publicly. As Rhimes said in her speech accepting the Luminary Award, she thinks women should brag more.


Rhimes, who created shows such as Grey's Anatomy and Scandal, recently signed a four-year deal with Netflix. She said in her speech that she allowed her salary to be reported incorrectly, contrasting her response with Ryan Murphy's openness about his pay when he signed a similar deal.

"In other words, I hid," she said. "I'm getting this award for inspiring other women and how can I inspire anyone if I'm hiding?"

"So, let me take a deep breath. And on behalf of women everywhere in the name of not leaving my sister hanging, I will brag. I got to say this is harder than I thought," Rhimes said before telling the audience, "I am the highest-paid showrunner in television."

According to Rhimes, "women do not brag enough," while men brag "even when they do not deserve to brag." She praised Grey's Anatomy star Ellen Pompeo for sharing that she is the highest-paid actress in dramatic television, even though she received criticism for expressing pride in her success.

"The point is that we need to set an example. I am and we are awesome," Rhimes said in her speech. "Which is another way of saying we have power and we are powerful women. And when we say we have power we are really saying we deserve to have power. We deserve whatever good thing it is we are getting."

Rhimes alluded to Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh's recent hearing over sexual assault allegations, pointing out that men are frequently "allowed to scream, cry, and demand," while women are punished for doing the same. "Women who do that are deemed difficult and they are called crazy. They are labeled the bitches who need to go," Rhimes said, adding that we should "encourage that power."

This message certainly applies to the fight for pay equality. Actress Tiffany Haddish, for example, recently shared that she speaks openly about money in order to know if she's making the same as her male counterparts — something women are often conditioned not to do. Natalie Portman also encouraged women to push back against talk of other women as "crazy or difficult" in a recent speech about sexual abuse in the workplace.

Rhimes ended her speech by encouraging women to support each other and form communities. "Come together, work together, brag together, be powerful together, and whenever we can we should be lifting other women up," she said. "Because lifting someone up is what lifts us. That is the point."

(H/T: HuffPost)

Cover image: Kathy Hutchins / Shutterstock.com


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