Grey’s Anatomy and Scandal creator Shonda Rhimes is heading to Netflix under a new exclusive deal.
The celebrated writer and showrunner, who is a strong advocate of LGBT-inclusivity on television, announced today that she would be departing from network TV as part of a deal with the streaming giant.
Rhimes, who is behind a string of hits including How to Get Away with Murder, Grey’s Anatomy and Scandal, will move to Netflix alongside producing partner Betsy Beers, under an exclusive deal which will see her develop new shows for the platform.
Grey’s Anatomy won praise during its run for its lesbian storyline, while Scandal also featured prominent gay characters.
The GLAAD Award-winning TV writer said: “Shondaland’s move to Netflix is the result of a shared plan Ted Sarandos and I built based on my vision for myself as a storyteller and for the evolution of my company.
“Ted provides a clear, fearless space for creators at Netflix. He understood what I was looking for — the opportunity to build a vibrant new storytelling home for writers with the unique creative freedom and instantaneous global reach provided by Netflix’s singular sense of innovation. The future of Shondaland at Netflix has limitless possibilities.
“Our current shows will continue to thrive on ABC and Shondaland will be there every step of the way. I could not have asked for a better home to begin my career. I continue to be grateful to work with so many talented people – especially our studio gladiator Patrick Moran and our most powerful and brilliant champion Channing Dungey.
“Starting today, we are thrilled to begin creating new Shondaland stories with Netflix. Everyone at Shondaland is honored to expand both our audience and our creative identity with Ted and the entire team at Netflix.”
Beers said: “I am a huge fan of the talented team and amazing programming at Netflix. The ability to create content for our new partners is an exciting challenge. I am grateful to everyone at ABC for their continued support and I look forward to beginning this next chapter at Netflix.”
Ted Sarandos, Chief Content Officer at Netflix, said: “Shonda Rhimes is one of the greatest storytellers in the history of television.
“Her work is gripping, inventive, pulse-pounding, heart-stopping, taboo-breaking television at its best. I’ve gotten the chance to know Shonda and she’s a true Netflixer at heart — she loves TV and films, she cares passionately about her work, and she delivers for her audience. We’re so excited to welcome her to Netflix.”
Rhimes previously made headlines when she hit back at a fan who complained about ‘gay scenes’ in her TV shows.
A viewer had tweeted: “the gay scenes in scandal and how to get away with murder are too much. There is no point and they add nothing to the plot.”
She responded:”There are no GAY scenes. There are scenes with people in them.
“If you are suddenly discovering that Shondaland shows have scenes involving people who are gay, you are LATE TO THE PARTY.
“If u use the phrase ‘gay scenes’, u are not only LATE to the party but also NOT INVITED to the party. Bye Felicia. #oneLOVE.”
She added later: “Someone got me all riled up and fighting 4 my friends and their love and the equality of all — I am supposed to be WRITING.
“I love all you Tweeples. Even the ones who still need to grow. And remember that at some point, someone discriminated against you too.”
She is a strong supporter of LGBT rights, describing the anti-LGBT movement as “dumbasses” in one Twitter exchange.
Rhimes picked up the Golden Gate GLAAD Award in 2012, while Grey’s Anatomy won Best Drama.