Bunheads’ Amy Sherman-Palladino Calls Out Shonda Rhimes For Attacking A Fellow Female TV Writer

Last week, when Shonda Rhimes went after Bunheads for not including any dancers of color, I said that an equally problematic dynamic going on here was the fact that Shonda was slamming Amy Sherman-Palladino instead of letting female solidarity dictate her reaction. Internet show Media Mayhem obviously felt the same, because they actually got to talk to the Gilmore Girls creator and made sure to ask her about that. (She doesn’t own a Twitter, so it’s unclear how much advance notice she got of the brouhaha.)

Amy obviously doesn’t want to start a catfight, but she also stood up for herself and acknowledged that yes, this is a problem:

“Look, I’m not going to get into a pissing match with Shonda Rhimes because she has 15,000 shows on the air, and she’s doing just fine for herself. [But] I’ve always felt that women, in a general sense, have never supported other women the way they should… I think it’s a shame, but to me, it is what it is… I wouldn’t do it. I wouldn’t go after another woman. I, frankly, wouldn’t go after another showrunner.”

However, not everyone is taking this as a resolution or even a valid continuation of the argument. TVLine’s Michael Ausiello tweeted,

Shocking how interviewer baited AS-P into making it woman vs. woman issue without ever challenging her on the possible merits of Shonda’s argument. The suggestion that Shonda criticized BUNHEADS’ lack of diversity because she felt threatened by another female showrunner is mind-boggling.

I don’t think that the Media Mayhem interviewer was out of line in bringing up the female angle. Obviously it’s a relevant issue, especially since Shonda owes some of her success to Amy and Gilmore Girls‘ celebrated seven-year run. However, the questions that come after Amy’s first answer do seem to be deliberately pushing this girl-on-girl conflict past the realm of legitimacy. (You can watch the video below.)

Should we just accept that female rivalry will always exist? Are we being offensive when we automatically expect female showrunners to comment on one another simply because there are so few of them? I really don’t know.

For the rest of the interview, Amy comes across as prickly and even a bit defensive; she doesn’t seem to believe that she owes anyone in terms of portraying race or triggering stories on television. “I don’t do message shows; I don’t give a shit who you learn your life from,” she says. “Someone said, ‘Oh God, I hope we don’t see the eating disorder show’—you won’t, ’cause I don’t give a flying fuck about that.” OK, then.

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