June 14, 2024

Shonda Rhimes shares Disneyland pass incident that made her move to Netflix

Who knew Disneyland tickets could spark such a change?

Shonda Rhimes is doing things her way. The 50-year-old showrunner recently sat down with Hollywood Reporter and revealed Disneyland tickets are what prompted her move to Netflix from ABC after 15 years.

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Rhimes remembers the day that changed the trajectory of her career. As part of her partnership with ABC, the Scandal creator was given complimentary Disneyland passes. As they aren’t interchangeable, on one occasion when she wasn’t joining her sister, daughters, and their nanny for a fun-filled day at the park, she couldn’t just let one of them borrow her pass. So Rhimes simply requested another.

As the creator of Grey’s Anatomy, the longest-running scripted show at the network, she didn’t expect asking for an additional pass would be too much trouble. But it was.

GLSEN Respect Awards – Los Angeles - Inside
Shonda Rhimes speaks onstage at the GLSEN Respect Awards at the Beverly Wilshire Four Seasons Hotel on October 19, 2018 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Rich Fury/Getty Images for GLSEN)

“We never do this,” said a few different representatives at the company before Rhimes was issued the additional pass. But when her family tried to use the pass at the park, something unexpected happened. The pass didn’t work.

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When Rhimes reached out to an executive at Disney/ABC to fix the problem she says she was told, “Don’t you have enough?”

That was the straw that broke the camel’s back. Rhimes wanted out of ABC. But she admits it was a struggle working with the company even before the Disneyland debacle.

“I felt like I was dying,” she said to the publication. “Like I’d been pushing the same ball up the same hill in the exact same way for a really long time.”

2015 Summer TCA Tour - Day 8
Actresses Viola Davis, Kerry Washington, executive producer Shonda Rhimes and actress Ellen Pompeo speak onstage during the ‘Grey’s Anatomy,’ ‘Scandal,’ and ‘How To Get Away With Murder’ panel discussion at the ABC Entertainment portion of the 2015 Summer TCA Tour in 2015. (Photo by Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images)

Rhimes is no longer pushing the ball up the hill. Now, as the highest-paid showrunner in television, she says she is now ready to “own her s–t,” which includes not being too embarrassed to brag on herself.

Per The Hollywood Reporter, in her speech at Elle‘s 2018 Women in Hollywood event, she said, “The other day I came to the conclusion that men brag and women hide. Even when they don’t deserve to brag, men brag. When men do deserve to brag, they’re good at it. I’m getting this award for inspiring other women, and how can I inspire anyone if I’m hiding? On behalf of women everywhere, I will brag. I am the highest-paid showrunner in television.”

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Check out the full interview here.

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