Shonda Rhimes vented her frustration via twitter over the lack of diversity on the new ABC show ‘Bunheads’ starring Broadway darling Sutton Foster and Gilmore Girls alumn Kelly Bishop.
Rhimes who continues to have a successful and profitable relationship with the”Alphabet Network “thanks to hit shows, ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ and the recently installed ‘Scandal’, couldn’t resist expressing her disappointment that ‘Bunheads’ a show that recalls the energy and enthusiasm of the dance scene that propelled 80’s staple FAME into the never dimming spotlight, doesn’t feature any ethnic actors.
She tweeted, Hey @abcfbunheads: really? You couldn’t cast even ONE young dancer of color so I could feel good about my kid watching this show? NOT ONE?”
Shonda Rhimes who is African-American is highlighting an issue that even she has to admit she has fallen victim to when you consider the fact ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ has evolved into a show that has a mostly Caucasian cast, who seem to be the primary focus of most of the major storylines and love triangles. Yet, Rhimes created ‘Anatomy’ but ultimately had to succumb to the formulaic tendencies of most shows on major networks that tend to cast people of color in secondary roles while the leads are almost always white.
Perhaps I would be more more apt to support Rhimes’ need to vent if she was maximizing her enviable position to help eradicate the problem but so far ‘Scandal’, starring Kerry Washington is the only show that features an African-American female in the lead role. It’s refreshing to see that she has settled into a groove that is allowing her to finally call the shots in a way that befits someone of her stature, and hopefully there will be a continued level of consistency with her casting choices.
Until then, the fight continues in the formidable arena of white vs. ethnic and the stats are not very encouraging but the awareness level is at an all time high. It is imponderable that in 2012 we have made very little strides when it comes to diversity on the small screen.
But show business is a BUSINESS and Ms. Rhimes more than anyone understands that.