Here’s a topical reminder that words matter on the editorial side, too. Twitter blew up — as it tends to do — this weekend thanks to a New York Times profile of Scandal /Grey’s Anatomy creator Shonda Rhimes. Why? Here’s the lede by Alessandra Stanley:
“When Shonda Rhimes writes her autobiography, it should be called ‘How to Get Away With Being an Angry Black Woman.’”
Get that? She’s black, she’s angry, and yet she somehow manages to get away with it.
It’s not that Stanley wanted to insult anyone. In the next paragraph, she writes: ”Ms. Rhimes, who wrought Olivia Pope on ‘Scandal’ and Dr. Miranda Bailey on ‘Grey’s Anatomy,’ has done more to reset the image of African-American women on television than anyone since Oprah Winfrey.”
That point is settled. But Rhimes took issue with Stanley’s piece, and today NYT public editor Margaret Sullivan agreed.