Three words have never irritated me more than the "Angry Black Woman" title. It is the stupidest stereotype because all humans get angry. All of us. Most of the time I am NOT angry. You know what makes me angry? Someone constantly telling me that I am angry. Or constantly be bombarded with the notion that ALL Black women are angry. If I am assertive or strong or I stand up for myself, I am all of a sudden angry. What simpleton decided that ALL Black women were angry? An idiot for sure. The United States is a hotbed for racial inequality right now. As a Black woman who was born and raised here, I feel like my Blackness is being attacked constantly. It's not often we as Black people see ourselves depicted in a good light on television or on the big screen. It's one of the main reasons I am a Shonda Rhimes fan. Those three little words sparked a public outcry on Twitter yesterday when the NY Times erroneously posted an article that read:
When Shonda Rhimes writes her autobiography," Stanley begins, "it should be called How to Get Away With Being an Angry Black Woman."
Rhimes' Twitter response was golden. And, guess what it wasn't? ANGRY. She seemed more appalled than anything. And, the fact that her new show "How To Get Away With Murder" was created by a white man made the author of that ridiculous article seem even more incompetent. I loved her response as well as those of some of the actors who work for her, especially Kerry's, Viola's and Josh's. I did not see one positive tweet about the article. Everyone felt that dig. After reading that lede, I was not inclined to read the rest. It rubbed me the wrong way. There is a way to offer praise. The article did not do that. It was a backhanded compliment filled piece that no one could feel complemented by. There was no happiness felt while reading it.
Then, something miraculous happened. Black women started a Twitter hashtag movement. #IWasAnAngryBlackWomanWhen was born. The tweets were mostly sarcastic in nature in response to the article. The crazy thing is I didn't get angry when I read it. I was offended as was every Black woman and anyone who is a fan of the brilliance that is Shonda Rhimes. She is a visionary and a major success story. Her Shondaland Productions owns ABC's Thursday night slots. She is the only Black woman to head a company that has not one, not two but three primetime shows on tv right now. Two of those shows are helmed by Black women. All three shows have casts that are more racially diverse than any other shows or networks. Rhimes should be praised for having the golden touch.
The NY Times seems to have forgotten that. Thankfully, other credible publications did not follow that lead. Slate, Vox, CNN, and Variety all took a different and better standpoint. The lede of the NY Times piece (which I refuse to link to) was wrong, stereotypical and awful. The author stated that the article was meant to praise Rhimes. But, you do not insult a person's entire being then follow it with shallow compliments. Do. Not. Want. Return To Sender. What the author and the paper should do is print a retraction, apologize for being racist, stereotypical pigs and never do it again. But, they won't. And, in all honesty, Shonda Rhimes doesn't need them to. She will continue to slay Thursday nights as she has for years. Because she is a genius and her shows are amazing. Winning is the best revenge. Make sure you are tuned in at 7pm central on Thursday, September 25, 2014 for the return of "Grey's Anatomy," and "Scandal," and also the introduction of "How To Get Away With Murder."