Shonda Rhimes, ABC Upfronts

ABC/Lorenzo Bevilaqua

Margaret Sullivan of The New York Times has slammed her colleague's recent article on Shonda Rhimes, calling it "astonishingly tone-deaf and out of touch."

In light of the recent controversy surrounding Alessandra Stanley's article on the television producer, where she calls her an "angry black woman," Sullivan says, "the readers and commenters are correct to protest this story."

She continued, "Intended to be in praise of Ms. Rhimes, it delivered that message in a condescending way."

Culture editor Danielle Mattoon, discussed the editing process with Stanley's particular article, explaining, "There was never any intent to offend anyone and I deeply regret that it did. Alessandra used a rhetorical device to begin her essay, and because the piece was so largely positive, we as editors weren't sensitive enough to the language being used."

Mattoon confirmed that at least three different editors read the article in advance, and that not one of them made mention of any of the offensive language used.

"This is a signal to me that we have to constantly remind ourselves as editors of our blind spots, what we don't know, and of how readers may react," Mattoon told the paper.

Stanley defended her article, explaining, "In the review, I referenced a painful and insidious stereotype solely in order to praise Ms. Rhimes and her shows for traveling so far from it."

She added, "I didn't think Times readers would take the opening sentence literally…Regrettably, this stereotype is still too incendiary to raise even in arguing that Ms. Rhimes had killed it once and for all."

Sullivan says that she will soon be speaking with Dean Baquet, the executive editor of the Times, about "diversity in the newsroom, particularly among culture critics" in order to get to the bottom of the real issue at hand.

She brought up a striking (and disconcerting, to say the least) fact about the staff of the world-renown newspaper, revealing: "The Times has a number of high-ranked editors and prominent writers who are people of color, but it's troubling that among 20 critics, not one is black and only one is a person of color."

Shortly after the original article was published, Rhimes took to Twitter to vent her frustrations over the paper's double standard and name-calling.

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