Saturday, May 8, 2021

Shonda Rhimes Says Clash Over Disneyland Ticket Lead to ABC Exit: ‘I Felt Like I Was Dying’

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*Shonda Rhimes has detailed her decision to leave ABC and the straw that broke the camel’s back was a request for a Disneyland pass.

For 15 years, Rhymes created TV magic (and made history) at the network, with shows like “Grey’s Anatomy,” “Scandal,” and “How to Get Away with Murder.” She reportedly make more than $2 billion for Disney, but had a constant battle with ABC, which is owned by the studio. The writer producer tells The Hollywood Reporter that her creativity was limited at the network

“I felt like I was dying,” she said of her work producing nearly 70 hours of annual television. “Like I’d been pushing the same ball up the same hill in the exact same way for a really long time.”

The final nail in the coffin was hammered in 2017, over a pass to Disneyland. 

READ MORE: Black Woman Dubbed Trump’s ‘Nodding Lady’ Claims Trolls Are Targeting Her Employees

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Here’s more from Us Weekly:

As part of her contract, the showrunner had an all-inclusive pass and had negotiated a second one for her nanny. However, her pass was not interchangeable so when her sister needed one to take Rhimes’ daughter to the park, she had to go back and forth with the network and was told, “We never do this” multiple times.

The park eventually issued her an extra pass — which would have cost $154 — but it didn’t work when her family arrived at the park. Rhimes then called a “high-ranking executive,” who allegedly asked her, “Don’t you have enough?”

With that, she called her lawyer and asked to exit ABC to go to Netflix. Rhimes later inked a deal with the streaming giant worth $150 million.

In August, she announced her new deal, saying, “Shondaland’s move to Netflix is the result of a shared plan [Netflix CEO] Ted Sarandos and I built based on my vision for myself as a storyteller and for the evolution of my company.”

Her statement continued, “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.”

Shonda’s first two projects with Netflix include a documentary about Hollywood icon Debbie Allen (releasing Nov. 27) and the period drama “Bridgerton” (releasing Dec. 25).

Ny MaGee
Ny MaGee is a screenwriter and freelance reporter from Chicago -- currently living in Los Angeles and covering A-list entertainment for various outlets, including Emmys.com. She has worked for: Miramax, MTV & VH1, The Jim Henson Company, Hallmark Channel, Paramount Pictures, and for iconic indie film producer Roger Corman.

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