Shonda Rhimes is sharing details about the shocking disrespect she endured while creating content for ABC.
As previously reported the ShondaLand creator is happily at Netflix with a multiyear, nine-figure partnership after leaving ABC in 2017. Recently she was asked by The Hollywood Reporter, about her time working with ABC that she admitted was tumultuous behind the scenes. According to Shonda, ABC took issue with a number of things she did, and battles would ensue.
“They’d push, she’d push back. Over budget. Over content. Over an ad she and the stars of her series — Grey’s Anatomy, Scandal and How to Get Away With Murder — made for then-presidential nominee Hillary Clinton.
“I felt like I was dying,” she explained. “Like I’d been pushing the same ball up the same hill in the exact same way for a really long time.”
She apparently reached her breaking point however when she was snubbed over a measly $154 Disneyland ticket. The Walt Disney Company of course owns ABC and one of the perks of her job was free all-inclusive passes to Disney theme parks, a courtesy extended to all employees.
But Shonda recalled an incident when she shockingly got pushback for requesting an additional ticket for her sister. After being told several times “We never do this”, the network relented and gave her an additional pass but when she got to the entrance of the park, with her children, nanny, and sister—the pass did not work.
Shonda told The Hollywood Reporter that she called up a high ranking executive at the network to help solve the problem but they quickly copped an attitude.
“Don’t you have enough?” said the exec on the phone.
Hopefully, that exec quickly copped some walking papers for that silliness.
The Disneyland snub was the final straw for the woman whose shows made Disney $2 billion, and Shonda was officially out.
Rhimes was beside herself. She thanked him for his time, then hung up and called her lawyer: Figure out a way to get her over to Netflix, or she’d find new representatives.
Shonda whose Netflix deal is reportedly for $300 million, has eight original Netflix series in the works. She’s also clearly feeling more free while working with the streaming service.
“And then I said, ‘I just want to be in a place where I can make stuff and no one’s going to bother me or make me feel like I’m beholden,’” said Shonda recalling a meeting she had with Netflix co-CEO Ted Sarandos and he was like, ‘That sounds great to me!’”
Know your worth, people.