Why Shonda Rhimes Says Her Shows Aren't Political Statements

Shonda Rhimes explains her approach to writing TV shows, Anna Delvey's two-year sentence and the success of her shows, which she says aren't political.

By Cydney Contreras Jan 05, 2022 6:49 PMTags
Watch: "Bridgerton" Stars Praise Shonda Rhimes & Dish on Series

Shonda Rhimes has paved for the way for women of every color, shape and size in her progressive TV shows, but she wouldn't necessarily say she was trying to make political statements.

Rather, the Shondaland producer tells Time that she simply writes shows that are representative of the people she sees in the world, explaining, "I don't like to be preached at, and I'm not interested in preaching." 

And while the hit ABC series Scandal, starring Kerry Washington, was set in the cutthroat political world of Washington D.C., Shonda says she turned her attention to lighter themes "when it felt like the world had caught up to the stories we were telling."

As such, viewers were introduced to the world of Bridgerton in December 2020, offering people a much-needed escape just before the coronavirus pandemic went into full swing. The series, executive produced by Shonda, was a hit and is now gearing up for its second season, which will focus on the love story between Jonathan Bailey's Anthony and Simone Ashley's Kate.

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Additionally, Shonda is exploring the case against convicted scam artist Anna Delvey, whose real last name is Sorokin, in the upcoming series Inventing Anna. It's a story that the writer is approaching with sympathy, as she feels Anna has been punished for pursuing a life beyond her means.

"You understand why someone like Anna would do what she did," she says of Anna's conviction on theft of services and grand larceny. "Because we press everyone's nose to the glass of a different kind of life, and then we tell them they can't have it."

Shonda adds that she wonders why there was so much interest in Anna's case, saying, "If she had been a man, would she have gotten in so much trouble? Would people have even been as fascinated by her? If Anna Delvey had been what is typically called a hot chick, would people have been so outraged?"

Those questions will be explored in further detail when the Netflix show premieres on Feb. 11.

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