Scandal creator Shonda Rhimes has shared why she walked away from television network ABC to join Netflix — she says she felt like she was “dying.”
“I felt like I was dying. Like I’d been pushing the same ball up the same hill in the exact same way for a really long time,” Rhimes told The Hollywood Reporter.
According to Rhimes, the final straw was in 2017, after an interaction with the network over Disneyland. As part of her contract, Rhimes had an all-inclusive pass to Disneyland.
She also negotiated a second one for her nanny, but her pass was not interchangeable, so when her sister needed one to take Rhimes’ daughter to the park, Rhimes reached out to the network who told her, “We never do this” multiple times. Rhimes said she then called a “high-ranking executive,” who allegedly asked her, “Don’t you have enough?”
Rhimes said the incident was enough for her to place a call to her lawyer and asked to go to Netflix. That same year, she inked a deal that is reportedly worth $150 million.
“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,” she said at the time, referencing Netflix’s Chief Content Officer Ted Sarandos. “The future of Shondaland at Netflix has limitless possibilities.”
“Shonda Rhimes is one of the greatest storytellers in the history of television,” Sarandos said at the time. “Her work is gripping, inventive, pulse-pounding, heart-stopping, taboo-breaking television at its best.”