Shonda Rhimes Is Not Here for Your "Strong Female Leads"
On Thursday, network TV triple-threat Shonda Rhimes spoke out against a phrase that's often used to describe many of the characters on her shows—and it'll make you rethink the description.
“OK,” she began in a tweet, “Entertainment industry, time to stop using the phrases ‘Smart Strong Women’ and ‘Strong Female Leads.’ There are no Dumb Weak Women. A smart strong woman is just a WOMAN. Also? ‘Women’ are not a TV trend—we're half the planet.”
When I hear the words “Strong Female Lead” I think of Netflix’s oft-recommended category “Binge-Worthy TV Shows Featuring a Strong Female Lead,” which happens to suggest two of Rhimes’s series to me off the bat:
Interestingly, Rhimes recently signed an ongoing production deal with the popular streaming service. Maybe her tweet is meant to speak directly to the company? I mean, it’s not a bad method of seeking reform. When Shonda speaks (or Twitter shames), we listen—and we bet Netflix does too.
Twitter users, too, rallied behind the producer and praised her poignant social media statement.
Jessica Chastain chimed in on Twitter and suggested an alternative to the oft-used adjectives: "Let's please use the phrase 'well-written women' in its place. All women are strong women."