“You are not alone.” Shonda Rhimes on Diversity and “Normalizing” Television.

Shonda Rhimes Diversity

Shonda Rhimes recently delivered an inspiring speech at the Human Rights Campaign Gala in Los, Angeles, California.

The powerhouse writer and producer, who has been writing since the age of 11, talked about the word “diversity” and the importance of different types of representation on television.

I don’t know if anyone has noticed but I only ever write about one thing: being alone. The fear of being alone, the desire to not be alone, the attempts we make to find our person, to keep our person, to convince our person to not leave us alone, the joy of being with our person and thus no longer alone, the devastation of being left alone.

The need to hear the words: You are not alone.

The fundamental human need for one human being to hear another human being say to them: “You are not alone. You are seen. I am with you. You are not alone.”

I get asked a lot by reporters and tweeters why I am so invested in “diversity” on television. “Why is it so important to have diversity on TV?” they say. “Why is it so challenging to have diversity?” “Why does Cyrus need to be gay?”

I really hate the word “diversity”. It suggests something…other. As if it is something…special. Or rare.

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