Writer and producer Shonda Rhimes has called for increased LGBT+ representation during a speech at an awards ceremony in Beverly Hills over the weekend, Variety reports.
The Los Angeles LGBT Centre hosted the 48th Gala Vanguard awards—an event that honours leaders in business, entertainment and politics who have shown their support for the LGBT+ community.
Rhimes presented an award to William Morris Entertainment CEO Ari Emanuel and used the opportunity to talk about LGBT+ visibility in film and TV.
“We all exist in the world,” Rhimes said.
“Everyone has the right the see themselves on the screen, and I think it’s really dangerous when that doesn’t happen. There is a tendency to marginalise or stereotype when these types of characters aren’t seen. People deserve realistic portrayals.”
The renowned talent agent Emanuel—whose clients include Charlize Theron, Mark Wahlberg and Oprah Winfrey—added in his speech that the entertainment industry had a responsibility to represent LGBT+ stories.
“We have a huge platform based on the movies we make and on the TV shows we make and the things we do,” said Emanuel.
“We have the ability to shed light on things or not, and I think it is important for all of us to shed light on everyone’s struggles or the injustices that people face.”
Rhimes—who created Grey's Anatomy, Private Practice and Scandal—has previously hit back at a fan who wrote that the gay sex scenes in her shows were “too much” and that they “add nothing to the plot”.
“There are no GAY scenes,” Rhimes responded.
"There are scenes with people in them. If you are suddenly discovering that Shondaland shows have scenes involving people who are gay, you are LATE TO THE PARTY. If u use the phrase 'gay scenes', u are not only LATE to the party but also NOT INVITED to the party. Bye Felicia. #oneLOVE.”