Monday, December 7, 2009

The Diverse Grey's Cast

Shonda Rhimes talked to TV Guide about the diversity in casting on Grey's Anatomy with a teeny tiny mention of Sandra in the interview: How do you go about casting a show? Is it color-blind? Gender-blind?
When I wrote the pilot to Grey's, I didn't put race to anybody; there was no ethnicity. I basically said we're just going to bring in great actors and whoever is right for the part will get the role.

Linda Lowy, who is an amazing casting director, she casted Grey's and Friday Night Lights, she's amazing, was very excited about that and the studio was completely on board with it. People would come in and we'd have a black woman, a blonde woman and an Asian woman all competing for the same role. The only tweaking I did was I asked Sandra Oh if she wanted her character to have a Korean last name, but the character remained exactly the same.

The thing I find scary and disturbing about television sometimes is that people think because you're somebody of color you have to be referred to or defined by your race. It doesn't really make sense because that's not how I live my life, or how most people live their lives. What's your policy on diversity in casting? Is there a concerted effort or does diversity happen organically?
A lot of other people who are older than me fought very hard so that I could get to write a television show and let people just be people. We don't have a black character on a show and just talk about it all the time that they're black, or they have these shoes because they're black. Characters just get to be characters.
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