Shonda Rhimes left ABC when they nit-picked her over free Disneyland passes

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Shonda Rhimes covers the latest issue of the Hollywood Reporter. Rhimes is a creator, a writer, a producer who built an empire for herself on network television, with shows like Grey’s Anatomy, How To Get Away with Murder and Scandal, all for ABC/Disney. In 2017, she very publicly split with ABC and inked a massive and lucrative deal with Netflix. In the past few years, she’s referenced some of the reasons why she walked away from Disney/ABC, but in this THR piece, she tells a story which truly shocked me. Apparently, she had been deeply unhappy at the network for a while, but the straw that broke the camel’s back was the fact that Disney executives began nitpicking her about DISNEYLAND PASSES. Oh my God. From THR:

Shonda Rhimes was tired of the battles. She was producing some 70 hours of annual television in 256 territories; she was making tens of millions of dollars for herself and more than $2 billion for Disney, and still there were battles with ABC. 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.

But by early 2017, her reps were back in discussions with the company about a new multiyear deal. They’d already made a hefty ask of her longtime home and were waiting as the TV group’s then leadership prolonged the process, with one briefly tenured ABC executive determined to drive down the price tag on their most valuable creator. Meanwhile, Rhimes was growing creatively restless. “I felt like I was dying,” she says now of the unforgiving pace and constraints of network TV. “Like I’d been pushing the same ball up the same hill in the exact same way for a really long time.”

She knew her breaking point would come, but what it would be she never could have predicted. As part of her ABC relationship, Rhimes had been given an all-inclusive pass to Disneyland — and without a partner, she’d negotiated a second for her nanny. But on this day, she needed one for her sister, too, as she’d be taking Rhimes’ teenage daughter while the nanny chaperoned her younger two. If the passes had been interchangeable, Rhimes would have been happy to give up hers — when would she have time to go to Disneyland anyway?

After some unwanted back-and-forth — “We never do this,” she was told more than once — Rhimes was issued an additional pass. But when her daughters arrived in Anaheim, only one of the passes worked. Rhimes lobbed a call to a high-ranking executive at the company. Surely, he would get this sorted. Instead, the exec allegedly replied, “Don’t you have enough?”

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.

[From THR]

CAN YOU BELIEVE IT? I mean, I do not doubt Shonda’s version of events, and if she said it happened like this, then it happened like this. But the short-sightedness of those Disney executives, the barely veiled racism of “how dare this Black woman ask for her worth AND free Disneyland passes.” My God. I’ve always assumed that if you have to work for Disney in some capacity, one of the few perks is free sh-t like “Disneyland passes” and maybe some kind of discount card for Disney stuff. I guess not. Those executives really shot themselves in the foot and they lost their best content creator.

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89 Responses to “Shonda Rhimes left ABC when they nit-picked her over free Disneyland passes”

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  1. Becks1 says:

    “don’t you have enough.” WTF. And what a stupid shortsighted comment that lost ABC/Disney its top content creator. Bet they wish they had just given her a dozen Disneyland passes now.

    • Chica1971 says:

      When you think about the swag Z listers get, this really is remarkable. However, it’s just another minute in the life of a POC. This usually doesn’t warrant getting upset about, but it was just the wrong day and one thing too many.

      • Anna says:

        Yup. Daily life for Black women. We are second-guessed and belittled about everything from minor things like this to huge matters (see: Serena Williams almost dying in childbirth because doctors refused to take her concerns seriously.) Doesn’t matter how much or how little money you have: this is the reality for Black women in this country.

    • holly hobby says:

      The tickets doesn’t cost them anything. They should have given it to her. It’s not like it’s a freebie for food and trinkets which I think her family would willing spend once they’re inside. That’s totally dumb.

      I am surprised by the push back. Wasn’t the head of programming a black woman? I think she’s no longer there but I do recall she helmed the entertainment division for years.

    • sa says:

      Yeah, the “don’t you have enough” comment is indefensible. Even if I try to see things completely from Disney’s side, I can’t even thing of any excuse that would make that comment anything other than horrifyingly disrespectful. You shouldn’t speak that way to anyone, but certainly not to a woman that has made billions of dollars for your company.

      • Anna says:

        There isn’t any “seeing both sides” on this. It’s daily life for Black women in this country. We are the demographic with the most degrees, higher education, regularly saving Amerikkka from the s***show that it is/has become, but we are second-guessed, belittled, and dismissed in every way, whether in the grocery store, the hospital, or some damn Disneyland tickets. Until individual people hold themselves accountable for their microaggressions and overt racism and misogyny (including women toward women especially) and stop acting surprised about it and actually make changes, it will never stop.

    • (TheOG) Jan90067 says:

      Not surprised. When my BIL had any show on ABC they nickel and dimes the production to death (like bare-boning the craft services, cutting out bottled water, telling production staff to bring refillable bottles from home). When he had the top tween/teen show on, they still pulled this, and like Shonda, when he asked for Disneyland passes for his two kids, he was also told his pass should be sufficient.

      • OnceUponA says:

        Disney is petty, cheap and love keeping their employees scared.

        Not to excuse this petty, thoughtless behavior — but I bet the snotty gatekeeper was terrified to go to their boss and ask for another pass.

        Trying to get through to anyone who matters at Disney is like going 12 rounds within Dante’s Inferno.

      • HeyJude says:

        I swear I’ve heard that’s part of the reason why they went for so many home-based sitcom shows in the 90s/00s, cause it’s way cheaper to produce a show set in a normal everyday home than one that need multiple elaborate locales and they could re-use sets and dressing. Like for example, Roseanne or Home Improvement is a way cheaper set to design/dress vs. NYPD Blue or The Practice.

  2. SusieQ says:

    Disney is really a disgusting company, and I say this as someone who was a little kid during the Disney Renaissance and watched “The Little Mermaid” until my VHS copy broke.

    On the upside, I’m really excited that Shonda Rhimes moved over to Netflix, and I can’t wait until Bridgerton drops in December!

    • Sigmund says:

      John Boyega’s stories about working in the new SW trilogy were really bad too. I’m sure some of it is the industry overall, but Disney very clearly encourages an environment in which POC are treated poorly. Good on Shonda for leaving.

    • HeyJude says:

      Same. I still absolutely love the artistry, the true ART part of the animation, movies, park designs, even their tchotchkes, etc. but the company is so f’n disgusting I can’t mess with them. We used to go to Disney year other year when I was a kid, went on their cruises, spent a fortune at their stores and online in between, eventually the greed soured the experience as we all got old enough to realize and their policies got more nickel-and-diming you. And now all the social and labor issues with them have completely ruined it for me. I thought Disney would be in my life forever (at one point I wanted to be an animator myself or work there in college, I wanted my parents to move to their Disney town in FL) but I don’t go there anymore, don’t watch their crap, don’t buy their crap.

      • fluffy_bunny says:

        I still buy their products. I go to the theme parks and stay onsite but I know how to milk the system and get things as cheap as possible. I even buy my tickets in January even though I won’t use them until December because prices go up every February. I wring the discounts and pennies out of them. We bought their timeshare 15 years ago and I ration the hell out of my points to get as many nights as possible. I’m Disney’s worst nightmare.

      • MB says:

        Fluffy_bunny, you’re not Disney’s worst nightmare. You are still a dream for them. Their worst nightmare is someone who boycotts them, not someone who takes them up on numerous offers lol.

  3. Ann says:

    That is some BS. Disney probably gives away passes like that all the time. 1 extra pass was an issue? When she’s making them billions?! I hope she gets all the Netflix money. Screw Disney and screw ABC.

    • aang says:

      They were once late bringing my luggage to my room and I got a free park hopper for everyone in my party.

    • dogmom says:

      Ann, I used to work for a non-ABC Disney subsidiary. Every employee gets (or got, back then) a pass that got the employee and three guests into most of the parks for free. (At Disney World, Magic Kingdom, Epcot and MGM were totally free, but we had to pay half-price admission to the water parks. But there were also black-out dates, so for example on Christmas Eve I would have had to pay full-price to get into one of the normally free parks.) We also got half-price rates at the resorts and restaurants in Epcot. I didn’t work for ABC so maybe ABC has a different policy about the passes its employees get, but that’s what employees of my Disney subsidiary got.

      • fluffy_bunny says:

        I think what Shonda had were VIP passes that would have gotten her a tour guide and the ability to skip the line so when one of the passes didn’t work the whole party wouldn’t have been able to access those services if they just bought a day pass. I don’t think she would have just been pissed off if she had to cough up $100 but it was the extras that she’s supposed to be afforded that weren’t that pissed her off.

      • Lemons says:

        @fluffy_bunny, Disneyland is a hospitality company…They would have made sure that everyone in that park got the memo that one of their top moneymakers was there. She is VIP, so everyone with her is VIP.

        They just handled the whole thing poorly.

      • sa says:

        @fluffy_bunny, that makes more sense. Because of course Disney shouldn’t nickel and dime Shonda Rhimes. But also, Shonda Rhimes is a millionaire, so it’s not the most endearing story if it’s simply a matter of her being unwilling to pay for what all the non-millionaires have to pay for. It makes much more sense (and she comes off a lot better) if it’s something that they couldn’t just purchase at the entrance.

      • Blairski says:

        fluffy_bunny is correct. It actually isn’t a question of $$ – that sort of pass can’t just be purchased in line, for any amount of money. That’s why she would have had to call the executive to get it sorted. If one of the two passes didn’t work, the guests for whom it didn’t work couldn’t get in at all, or if they did, they couldn’t stay with the guests with the VIP pass.

  4. Eleonor says:

    I would like to be surprised but I am not.

  5. MrsRobinson says:

    This week: I brought in a $10k grant that I took the initiative to apply for at my nonprofit (and I’m not even in fundraising). Crickets from my manager when I emailed to tell her about it. Two days later, when I asked if the organization could pay for a $189 virtual conference, directly related to my field and position, it was a very quick no.
    Writing is on the wall, right? Polishing my resume.

    • TheOriginalMia says:

      Good luck!

    • lucy2 says:

      Definitely. If you and your hard work are not being appreciated, it’s time to find somewhere you will be. Good luck to you!

    • KBur says:

      YUP. Reading about Shonda, I totally related (on a smaller scale, of course), and I figured a lot of women could too. Sorry to see I’m right.

    • Sarah says:

      Good luck with finding your next role. Stepping back to look at how your employer actually treats you is so important, never mind what they say matters to them. How do they act?

    • sa says:

      Congratulations on the grant! And good luck finding a position where they appreciate you and your contribution!

  6. MF1 says:

    I see Shonda’s point–I’d be annoyed too if I made ABC a gazillion dollars and they were still nickle and diming me.

    But… I get so annoyed when ultra-rich celebrity demand stuff be given to them free. Isn’t she rich enough to just *buy* the passes? The cost would be like pocket change for her.

    • Merricat says:

      The point isn’t the cost, it’s that the company she works for (which makes a ton of money off of her) is too cheap to cover the cost for a guest pass. She was their golden goose, and they blew it. Really, they didn’t deserve her.

    • Rapunzel says:

      MF1- I’m guessing Shonda’s all inclusive pass would give a lot more access than a regular pass. Shonda probably wanted to make sure all the passes were the same.

    • Becks1 says:

      It sounds to me like they were part of her contract, so part of her negotiated compensation. Yes, she could just buy them, I’m sure, but it sounds like she negotiated for them to be included in her contract, so that’s not “for free.” It was one of the perks she got for her work with Disney.

      ETA so for me this is different than someone like Reese Witherspoon or Jennifer Aniston or Harry and Meghan walking up to the gates of Disneyland and saying, “i’m famous, I should get in for free.” This is her saying, “these tickets are part of my compensation package, and I want to renegotiate this one aspect of this small part of my package so my sister can use the ticket to take my child.” And Disney refused in a spectacularly shitty way.

      • Lwt00 says:

        This is correct. It was a negotiated part of her contract and some peon tried to give her a hassle over it, and it was the straw that broke the camel’s back.

    • Smalltown Girl says:

      I am sure they were originally offered to her as a perk for working for ABC/Disney and she negotiated that perk so that she could actually use it and they nit-picked her and told her she had enough.

    • Sam the Pink says:

      It’s not that she didn’t want to buy the passes. She was issued two passes as part of her “perks” of employment. She did not actually demand a third – she wanted to give her pass to her sister for the day so the sister and nanny could go, but turns out the passes are not interchangeable. That was her issue – that she could not simply give her pass to her sister for the day, as opposed to having to buy a third.

      I mean, I agree in essence – I am not going to get upset over a multi-millionaire having to pay for a amusement park ticket. But I can also see that it speaks to a myopic corporate mindset – why can’t she just be allowed to give her pass to a relative for a day? Again, she wasn’t trying to get free stuff for her sister – she already had the pass and just wanted to hand it off for the day. She actually wasn’t asking for “more” than she already had. They gave her passes to allow two people in, and that’s what was going. Given the amount of money she made for the company, this is so short-sighted.

      • fluffy_bunny says:

        It’s kind of like the kids and the sister and the nanny wanted to go to their country club for the day and swim. It shouldn’t be an issue because she already belongs to the club.

    • Darla says:

      “Don’t you have enough” has never been said to any of their white male talent. Period. Can you imagine RDJ (marvel is part of disney now) calling about this and someone saying that to him? Never happen.

      • MM2 says:

        ^ THIS ^

      • Merricat says:


      • Athyrmose says:


      • liz says:

        Exactly. That exec would get in his own car to drive RDJ to the park himself and make sure that he got everything he wanted.

        At the time she made the request, she was running three of ABC’s top ten shows. They made $2 Billion off of her work. If she wanted them to close the park for her kids for a day, they should have said “Absolutely, Ms Rhimes. What day would work best for you?” The loss of ticket sales for the day would have cost them less money than having her walk to Netflix.

        The Disney shareholders should be told which moron cost them Shonda Rhimes. And he needs to be fired. Publicly.

      • Valiantly Varnished says:


      • sunnyn says:

        This is what it is really about. How you as a person of colour(and specifically as a black woman) are treated as less and that people think you should know your place is lesser. Even if you are a billion dollar cash cow.

        Good for Shondra for leaving.

      • Anna says:

        Exactly and seconding everything @liz

      • The Other Katherine says:

        YES. The shareholders should be good and mad knowing that the executive team is so incompetent and racist and/or misogynist that they are losing some of their most lucrative talent by allowing stupid sh!t like this to go on. Literally the entire point of the corporation is to make money for the shareholders, and this dumbass exec is causing one of their biggest moneymakers to walk out the door because he can’t be bothered to *act* like she is someone who needs to be kept happy and sort out passes at a theme park THAT THEY OWN. Just absolutely negligent behavior.

    • lucy2 says:

      That was in the back of my mind too – so many people can’t afford to go anywhere, or really have to save to afford Disney, and she can certainly buy whatever she needs. I feel that way about any wealthy/famous person demanding free stuff.

      But I don’t think that is this situation. As others have said, the 2 passes were part of her compensation, and she was simply asking for them to allow the one pass to be transferable to a family member. They told her it was taken care of, and when her family arrived, it was not, and the executive’s response was so rude. Considering she said they were trying to pay her less also, despite her success, this was just more clear indication that the did not respect or appreciate her, especially over something so trivial. She was right to say that’s it.
      I can’t imagine that executive saying what he did to a white male celebrity or producer, that’s for sure. I bet if Ryan Gosling asked for it, they’d bend over backwards to appease him.

    • fluffy_bunny says:

      They likely were VIP passes that get you a tour guide and the ability to skip lines. If they all didn’t have that same type of pass her sister wouldn’t have been able to participate.

    • L4frimaire says:

      The point is that the passes are an executive perk and she is their top producer. It’s no different from access to the corporate jet or the platinum health insurance plan. It is a perk but it is part of their negotiated work contract. The point is if anyone else at that level had asked for that extra pads, they would have given it without question and also given them VIP access to all the rides. They disrespected her. So many people act as if it’s just about money, but it’s about how they are treated and workplace respect. It like a restaurant refusing to seat you or giving you poor service. Sure you can go to another restaurant, but they shouldn’t be treating you that way,period.

    • Grant says:

      As a lawyer, I took umbrage with the way she spoke to her attorneys. “Figure out a way to get her over to Netflix, or she’d find new representatives.” Um, your lawyers aren’t the @$$holes holding out on a park pass and they’ve probably worked round the clock for you negotiating your contracts in the past. I’m sure some poor associate then had to scramble to find some out in what was likely a very ironclad contract to begin with.

      • Valiantly Varnished says:

        And Im sure that law firm makes millions off of Shonda just like Disney, so…

      • emmy says:

        @VV: They provide a service to her, they don’t “make money off of her”. I work for a law firm as well and while lawyers aren’t the most adored people, everyone wants them to fix their sh*t or get them out of things etc. They ALL make tons of money at this level, so neither Shonda now her lawyers are being taken advantage of in that relationship.

      • Lemons says:

        I see this as Shonda being tired of being given second-rate treatment or service as a Black woman and drawing a line in the sand at the start.

        Please just get it done or I will find someone else who will because this is not working for me.

        She sounded tired and in a bad place, and I’m sure she snapped.

      • BnLurkN4eva says:

        This is what she pays them to do and if they wish to continue to represent her, they will find a way to get it done. Please, this is standard high power stuff and immediately translates her frustration with the situation that let’s them know, No! She will not be talked out of leaving, No! It’s over, end of, our client is moving on and we better get on it. Enough, I am sick of this expectation that women should be pleasant, say it nicely, think constantly of the feelings of others even when they are fed up. I give her a pass to say exactly what she said in her frustration over the situation in that moment. She didn’t call anyone out of their name, she merely stated without pretty pleasing it, what she expected of her representatives and even gave them an out if they didn’t like what she had to say.

      • HeyJude says:

        You’re not an entertainment lawyer specifically are you?

        Entertainment reps work for agencies who also makes deals directly with the studios. So Shonda’s reps work for her, but their company at the same time also packages and sells products to Disney beyond Shonda and often take studios sides very quietly over individual clients because they make more money off of them than single clients.

        There’s whole labor disputes going on right about that with the writers in the industry.

        A lot of stars have to threaten or jump agencies when their reps get too far in bed with a network or studio and begin to ignore their interests in favor of the latter. It happens all the time.

        Calm down about thinking it’s a personal shot at all lawyers. Hollywood representation works very differently than normal law and it’s very incestuous with repping competing clients. (It should be illegal TBH, but they’ve managed to operate this way by the way they structure their agencies.)

        Her lawyers very well could have differed to Disney because of their might even though it’s fricking Shonda Rhimes. You have to be firm with them to make it clear you won’t tolerate them back-dooring you for the agencies good over yours. Welcome to the duplicitous entertainment industry.

      • Valiantly Varnished says:

        @HeyJude Exactly! People don’t seem to understand this.

      • Becks1 says:

        I’m a lawyer and I have no qualms with Shonda’s comments. She was right.

        @heyjude – did you use to post somewhere else under the same name? Not trying to be nosy, (well maybe a little), just wanted to see if we overlapped :-)

      • Mercury says:

        @Grant, I really question your statement. I’m a lawyer as well, and if a client asked me this, I would completely understand. Do you not have clients who are under immense stress?

    • Sharon says:

      I saw this on twitter and a Disneypark employee chimed in to say they got as many passes as they wanted. Even got 12 guests into the park! Even if it were ‘VIP’ I would think of ALL people Shonda Rhimes would deserve as many passes as she asked for!

  7. Case says:

    Disney is a real mess with how they treat their people. I love going to Disney, love Disney movies, but sheesh. They’re unbearably greedy. A day pass to Disneyland is not that much money. Certainly not worth losing such a talent over. It’s a shame the magic they make for their guests doesn’t extend to their employees.

    • HK9 says:

      They’ve always been this bad. My sister worked for them for a period of time. Their ridiculousness is well known.

  8. Watson says:

    I totally believe this happened.

    That they’d nickel and dime a black woman even though she was brilliant at her job? Completely believable. That she was creatively dying? I believe this too. Netflix FTW!!!

  9. TheOriginalMia says:

    Corporate Disney is a trip. I had a friend applying for a high level job and they broke her down. This is a woman who handled multimillion dollar budgets and they were so demanding.

    I’m glad Shonda left with her dignity in tact. F Disney!

  10. StellainNH says:

    I absolute refuse to subscribe to Disney+ and am extremely disappointed that Marvel joined Disney. It is too big a company and they have too much influence.

    Besides I think the Disney parks are just a big money grab—3 concessions for each attraction? Ridiculous. Too many other places in this world to see than waiting in line for a stupid ride.

  11. S808 says:

    1. She was bringing in BILLIONS to ABC. I would’ve handed over a 3rd Disney pass no problem, but that’s just me.
    2. If they didn’t want to give her a 3rd Disney pass “don’t you have enough?” is a bit disrespectful. There was a better, less hostile way to decline providing another pass that doesn’t reek of animosity. This seems bigger than a Disney pass to me.

    • Turtledove says:

      ” If they didn’t want to give her a 3rd Disney pass “don’t you have enough?” is a bit disrespectful.”

      Yes. Also, by THAT point they actually had already agreed to the pass. The issue seems to be that when her family got to the gate, the pass didn’t *work*. I am not saying that asking “don’t you have enough?” would have been an appropriate response at any time, but it would have made more sense if they said it and denied her the pass upfront. (again, wouldn’t have been polite or smart on their part) What they did was hem and haw and say”we never do this”, but then they DID it, and when her family went to use them, the didn’t work and then they gave her a hard time for asking that it be rectified. Also, no doubt, Shonda has LOADS of money, but it still ain’t Disney money. So for them to ask that is too rich indeed.

  12. AndaPanda says:

    I interviewed at Disney and they were so entitled and rude. It was a blessing I didn’t get that job. I’m in a job now where I’m valued. It’s not perfect but I serve on the diversity and inclusion team and I have a relationship with the CEO as a mid level employee.

    My ex friend works in a different department there and she turned into a jerk. I am no longer friends with her over Disney passes. She offered to take 2 of my other friends to Disney and told them to show up at 9. my friend showed up at 9:15 and she told her “you’re late go buy your own pass”. There was no time requirement other than her self imposed one. This exfriend was always late previously with me and I realized a user. after years of treating her, since she has been unemployed for several years l, she finally had something people wanted and abused the power.

  13. aang says:

    My daughter worked at Disney for the college program. She got a free pass for herself and for every 200 or so hours she worked she got one for a friend. Sounds like Shonda should have had free passes coming out of her ears she worked for them so much. I can’t believe they didn’t just give her some kind of transferable VIP passes that allowed the holder to bring in whoever was named on the list. But she is a black women so I’m sure it hurt them to pay her at all.

  14. fluffy_bunny says:

    Do people who work for ABC get Disney Cast Member benefits? I think most CMs get free tickets for their entire family and then bonus passes they can give out to friends. This is ridiculous that they acted this way to a woman who gave them an entire night of hit shows. If she wanted a free pass for her dog they should have coughed it up.

  15. Annaloo. says:

    Disney is the cheapest bastard media company of them all

  16. FF says:

    So… does Disney have an issue with Black people specifically? Because between this and the John Boyega treatment I’m getting a vibe that they think the bare minimum – when it comes to Black employees – is too much.

  17. Arb says:

    I think she just got that guy fired.

  18. ME says:

    Good for her for not being afraid and speaking up. They think because she’s a Black woman she should just be happy at all she works for Disney? F*ck you Disney, you don’t deserve her.

  19. Valiantly Varnished says:

    “Don’t you have enough?” Whew. The racism DRIPPING from that reply.

  20. Well-Wisher says:

    This happens when C + executives get power. The creatives and talented with ideas are the ones that bring in the eyeballs and cash but the C+ers are there to get ‘cheap’ (relative term in this instance). Poor negotiation skills and unconscious bias led Ms Rhimes (creative talent) to leave. She is fully aware “people treat you the way you let them”.
    Very shortsighted but very apopros.

  21. Jay says:

    Shonda is pretty active on social media – how much do you bet her posting about enjoying Disney with her family would actually have been a good promotion for THEM. Anyway, it seems like she was kind of waiting for a final straw to give herself permission to leave the network, so I’m happy it worked out.

    Also, it sounds like this is on top of having to negotiate for another pass for her nanny, rather than a “partner”. Seriously? They only give two passes if you are married?

  22. Veronica S. says:

    It sounds dumb and privileged until you think about just how ridiculously stupid this was. She was a cash cow for them. She had multiple highly successful shows proving she knew how to make salable media. And you’re going to…continuously nitpick and fight her over things, up to and including VIP passes that they probably toss out like favors to their other celebrities? Like, she should be grateful they’re doling her out this small advantage when her net worth is in the millions personally and billions business-wise. Yeah, I can see why that was the tipping point.

  23. Jules says:

    I think if someone speaks to you like this it’s one of two things….the executive is rude and/or you’re not respecter or appreciated OR two you really ARE the diva in the situation and it’s their tipping point.

    The story sounds cut and dry but remember that Shonda’s sets have had a lot of dysfunction and she has been a very involved showrunner. Maybe some shows have been better than others but there have been sizear issues with her sets and her actors and negotiations.

    And as someone stated the way she spoke to her lawyers….and no money isn’t everything (it doesn’t matter who she ‘makes rich’ or how much she’s paying them or what ABC made off her) respect is MORE important. Perhaps she is a difficult ‘talent’ and they had had enough…and I tend to lean in that direction. She isn’t innocent either.

    • SmalltownGirl says:

      Difficult talent or not, that “don’t you have enough” line speaks of disrespect and it is the kind disrespect that women and poc face all the time. We constantly get told that we are difficult for asking our worth, so I am inclined to believe her. Especially since it is Disney and there is lots of evidence of them being a toxic work culture for anyone who isn’t a white male.

      • Anna says:

        Exactly @SmalltownGirl It happens to us *all* the time. This is one facet of systemic racism and white supremacy.

    • BnLurkN4eva says:

      One show, Greys had very public issues that had more to do with the talents and her possibly not handling them correctly. It was her first show and it was relatively early in the run of the show. The talents involved have since outed themselves as being extremely problematic, so there’s that. Her other shows had no drama that I know about, though you can correct me if you know something I don’t.

  24. Marigold says:

    I think it is about the disrespect. Not the monetary value.

  25. Jbird says:

    This doesn’t surprise me. I was at a play at our city’s nicest theater and I had to use the restroom (pregnant!) and I got to talking to 2 of the volunteer ushers. A cute older couple. I asked if they loved being ushers and they said yes because they got to see all the various shows that came through. All except for Disney productions. The ushers have to stand outside of the theater and cannot watch the show because they didn’t pay for the tickets. That disgusted me. So this BS doesn’t surprise me either.

  26. Mrs. Smith says:

    ABC employees get free Disney park passes. Shonda’s pass was likely the VIP variety, which is unique and can’t be purchased on site. BUT this is LA, people, so someone easily could have walked or driven over an arm load of VIP passes on a moments notice. It’s basic talent relations and it cost Disney one of their biggest stars and earners.

  27. says:

    If it was a white man showrunner with 3 canceled ABC shows, they would have fallen over themselves to give him the passes. Wouldn’t have even been an issue. And it isn’t even about the money or the passes. It’s about being appreciated which she wasn’t.

  28. CecilN says:

    Side note but it’s about time Shonda gets something out the door for Netflix. Three years for a book adaptation is a long time, especially for a nine figure deal. Her productions in the last five years have been a bit underwhelming IMO, but hey maybe a different environment can give her a second wind creatively speaking.

    Going on a tangent here but it made me think about these Netflix mega deals with Shonda Rhimes or Ryan Murphy (and other big TV names). I have a feeling they might have been overinflated now that I see Murphy’s productions for Netflix. I’m a big “binger” and I have watched a lot of Murphy’s productions before that, but I haven’t felt interested in The Politician or Hollywood, although I’m hearing a lot of people watch Ratched (which looks like a rehash of what he always does, much like the other Netflix stuff he does). Seeing how much time it took for Rhimes to create something that’s not an original work per se, I’m feeling baffled by Netflix’s creative / business direction. I’d be really interested in seeing the data and ROI Netflix gets from these deals but they always keep stuff close to the vest so who knows…