On Wednesday, Shonda Rhimes, the lady power genius behind binge-ready shows like Grey’s Anatomy, Private Practice, Scandal, and How To Get Away With Murder received the Sherry Lansing Leadership Award. In Shonda’s hands what could have been yet another acceptance speech turned into a beautiful celebration of sisterhood and women in the television and film industry, and 8-minutes of Rhimesian wisdom that you will likely want to watch to again and again and again.
In this Year of Shonda, it was fitting and deserved that the Golden Globe winner, director, screenwriter, and producer be recognized as a pioneer and leader in her industry. What she accomplished with her acceptance speech was to brilliantly and generously acknowledge and thank all the women who have made her success possible. As she said, and contrary to popular opinion, “I haven’t broken through any glass ceilings.”
She explained: “How many women had to hit that glass before the first crack appeared? How many cuts did they get, how many bruises? How hard did they have to hit the ceiling? How many women had to hit that glass to ripple it, to send out a thousand hairline fractures? How many women had to hit that glass before the pressure of their effort caused it to evolve from a thick pane of glass into just a thin sheet of splintered ice?”
If that doesn’t fill you with chills, perhaps her look into the future when she acknowledges how many more women have yet to change media, will bring on the waterworks. Whenever it hits you, it’s pretty hard to make it through her speech without real pangs of feeling and sisterhood respect.
So to Shonda, we salute you for acknowledging how far we as women (and women of color) have come to make strides in Hollywood. We love you for making it clear that the banding together of women in order to make change has been (and will continue to be) important for the future of television and film. And we thank you for giving us some of the most dynamic, powerful, complicated women television has ever known.
Check out Shonda’s genius speech for yourself by reading the full transcript on Medium or by viewing the full speech below.