Shonda Rhimes Blog
For centuries the mainstream media has had carte blanche in drafting commentary on Black people, they have been allowed to portray Blacks from an obstructed vantage point and in most cases they don’t have the aptitude to delve into the pathology of Black culture. Which proved to be the case with Alessandra Stanley’s opening statement in her New York Times piece about TV magnate Shonda Rhimes, which suggest that Rhimes had somehow mastered the art of being a successful and respected producer and creator of hit shows like Grey’s Anatomy and Scandal, in spite of being a typical “Angry Black Woman”. The mainstream media has been responsible for inventing and then perpetuate stereotypes about Black people because up until very recently Blacks did not have the means or mass platform to voice our objections to the narrative generated by the media that cast blacks as either victims or victimizer, which largely went unchallenged. That was until the advent of social media, where responses to nonsense like Stanley’s commentary on Rhimes, is swift and potent. Black people now have a 140 characters rapid response vehicle that can reach the offender within seconds. Rhimes took the matter up immediately using the global megaphone that is twitter to rebut the perpetuation of the negative stereotype and “checked” Alessandra Stanley for her inaccurate characterization and her sloppy reporting. The Twitter machined began to roll over the New York Times when friends, supporters, colleagues and employees of Shonda chimed in, denouncing the article and its author, which prompted other news outlets to pick up the “Times Vs. The Angry Black Woman” debate that was waging on social media, the backlash forced The New York Times, Public Editor Margaret Sullivan to comment on the matter, Sullivan summed up the inflammatory remarks as Stanley being “out of touch.” Which opens up the logical solution, perhaps it’s long overdue for the Times and all mainstream media to reevaluate their editorial staff who did not have a clue and did not detect that Stanley’s comments were dripping with condescension and insults, neatly disguised in a blanket of praise for Rhimes’ accomplishments. If the media does not want to face a barrage of public condemnation for their lack of context and nuance when depicting Black people, then they will continue to suffer the public humiliation, by the wrath of the twittersphere.