Was How to Get Away with Murder the first show to give us gay-on-gay ass-eating in primetime? I think so, and it’s just one of the many moments of super vital, super queer television moments that producer Shonda Rhimes had a hand in bringing to life on all her various ShondaLand productions. It’s no wonder that the Los Angeles LGBT Center honored Rhimes at Sunday night’s 48th Anniversary Gala Vanguard Awards for her positive impact on TV’s LGBTQ representation, Variety reports.
But instead of resting on her literal laurels, Rhimes, who is most known for creating Grey’s Anatomy and Scandal and also writing the somewhat less iconic Britney Spears buddy picture Crossroads, used her moment at the podium to push even harder. She called on all of Hollywood to do better when it comes to depicting queer and trans lives.
“We all exist in the world,” she told attendees. “Everyone has the right to see themselves on the screen, and I think it’s really dangerous when that doesn’t happen. There is a tendency to marginalize or stereotype when these types of characters aren’t seen. People deserve realistic portrayals.”
According to GLAAD’s 2016 “Where We Are” report on LGBTQ representation on TV, only 4.8% of the series regular characters on broadcast scripted primetime programming were identified as being somewhere under the LGBTQ umbrella.
Worth noting, most of those characters exist in predominantly straight show universes, where they are often the only person like themselves present. Ask any queer or trans person if that’s what their social circles are like, and they’ll laugh in your face as a queer or trans friend of theirs human-wheelbarrows them into the sunset, as is our custom. Hopefully what Rhimes said will inspire Hollywood to make more predominantly queer shows like that. Also, ones that aren’t just reboots of queer shows past? I’m an adult now and have no time to give Shane from The L Word’s fucked-up behavior a third, fourth, or fifth chance!!