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Does Shonda Rhimes get paid to promote the swirl?

untitledI know it’s ugly out here for black people right now. I mean, it seems like it always is. Ongoing discrimination, institutional racism, police killings, domestic violence, presidential politics … it seems like almost everything has a black person caught somewhere in the middle of it. And as a lover of black people, being a black man myself, I am rarely one to publicly question brothers and sisters unless it is a truly necessary thing. So, with that said, this year’s fall television schedule has pushed me to ask an extremely necessary question:

Is Shonda Rhimes getting paid to promote the swirl?

I mean, I won’t hate on a sister for getting paid to produce the thoughts that come out of her creative mind. The native Chicagoan’s complete ownership of ABC’s Thursday night programming is something that the Associated Press says is “unmatched in TV history.” But even with so much to celebrate, it’s hard for a brother to ignore one of a couple things that seem to be consistent in all of her shows.

There is always a black-white romantic relationship at the centerpiece of her drama. Don’t believe me? Let’s run down the list.

Dr. Webber and Dr. Grey, Dr. Avery and Dr. Kepner, and Dr. Yang and Dr. Burton on “Grey’s Anatomy.” Then you’ve got Taye Diggs and Kate Walsh’s characters on “Private Practice.” And, of course, Olivia Pope’s love affair with President Grant on “Scandal,” and now here comes Professor Keating and her husband, Tom, on “How To Get Away With Murder.”

If you must, forgive your brother for asking, but still … Shonda lovers … what’s the deal?

I know you see a pattern. And the black defender-conspiracy theorist in me says that it might not be a function of Rhimes’ preferences that have brought us this colorful display of romantic love interests. Rhimes could very well be writing stories that showcase black love that simply aren’t getting picked up by the networks. The fact that the ones that are, however, getting picked up include interracial relationships makes me scratch my head during a time where the world needs to be reminded that the black community as a whole is both worthy and capable of loving and caring for itself to the fullest extent.

So, you know, as you go about your day, and while some of us prepare for our weekly Shonda fest, give some thought to the thing that I’ve posited here. Does it pay to promote a wedge within the black community? Is the new sexy thing really a continued devaluation of black on black love? I’m not the one to say … but I am the one to think about it. Let me go grab Arsenio so that we all can say the same thing at the same time:



  1. Stacy on October 7, 2014 at 12:42 pm

    I know I’m nitpicking :), but isn’t Dr. Yang Asian? Is that considered as White now since it was used in the list of evidence of the “Black-White relationships”? Also, it was Dr. Burke, not Burton. If one does not watch the shows, maybe they should do a little fact-checking before posting an article on the topic. Just a suggestion. Nevertheless, I’m just a stickler for giving facts and not misinformation… Oh, and obviously a fan of the shows. lol

    • TJ Crawford on October 8, 2014 at 1:29 pm

      You’re right about the Burke spelling and Yang being Asian…That damn spell check/editing process has a mind of its own. Nitpick away…it doesn’t bother me at all…I didn’t see the misinformation though…maybe missing info…but not misinformation. LBS. But at the end of the day day though…you didn’t let me know what you think about the concept…is Shonda getting paid to promote the swirl? Is that a good thing? Come on now Stacy…I’m interested in hearing the opinion of a true fan 🙂

      • Stacy on October 8, 2014 at 4:42 pm

        First off, thank you responding. I have never seen anyone respond to the comments on their articles, so this is very refreshing… In response your comment about my comment, I honestly don’t think we’ll ever know the truth behind it, but I looked at it as her having the opportunity to show that interracial couples/families are ok. Despite how forward-thinking society wants to think it is, we all know it isn’t. Interracial couples still receive flack from both sides about how they shouldn’t “mix”. lol Whether she’s getting paid or not, I think her placing a spotlight on matter, is a step in the right direction. However, all the shows are successful, so I guess she is getting paid to promote the “swirl”, when you look at it that way. I have a friend who said she thinks Shonda is living out all her interracial and sexual fantasies through her shows. LOL She could be… But the story, drama, suspense, and whatever else is so good, I think in the end you overlook it and just enjoy!

  2. 5aiah on October 7, 2014 at 6:29 pm

    Things like this are good for black women anyway. It helps promote and naturalize interracial relationships in real life which is something black women desperately need. They have by far the smallest dating pool, but of course black men would like to keep it that way.

    • TJ Crawford on October 8, 2014 at 1:33 pm

      Now why do Black men want to keep the dating pool for Black women small again? So we can live out a pimp’s dream? I know you didn’t say that so…help me understand where you’re coming from. Bigger question for me is…is this good for the Black community overall? What say ye?

      • 5aiah on October 8, 2014 at 4:03 pm

        You have me 100% correct. It’s beneficial to black men for black women’s dating pool to be the smallest(maybe aside from native american women) so they can continue treating them like shit because of how devalued they are. Rampant cheating, side chicks,harems, high domestic violence and ridiculous STD rates in the black community are all because black women don’t(and probably can’t) date outside their perceived race and culture. Black men in general can and will treat the women any kind of way because the ladies have no choice but to put up with it or end up lonely. Why would the men stop the gravy train when you can continue reaping the benefits? It’s just another example of the entire black community basically eating themselves because they are hungry. Racial cannibalism at its finest.

  3. Janice Warfield-Russo on December 31, 2014 at 4:27 pm

    It is part of a master agenda. Read the Willie Lynch Letter. It’s all in there. I’m sure the author of this article has. It has not gone unnoticed, Honda Rhimes’ unparallelled success. There is a ‘house n***** and a field n*****’. What role does Mona Scott play? #readabook