For her portrayal Viola Davis has recieved much critical acclaim; she became the first African-American woman to win an Emmy Award for outstanding lead actress. Also winning two Screen Actor Guilds for the same performance and nominated for many Golden Globes.
It is here to specifically highlight Shonda Rhimes and her television entertainment company ‘Shondaland’. Her influence and powerful status as a producer and tv series creator is completely unseen before as an african-american female in Hollywood. It maybe looked upon as the first concrete sign of progress concerning the progress of representation of ethnic multi layered women in television.
Along with the first success ‘Greys Anotomy’ which featured a large ensemble cast of race, sex, age and sexuality in one hospital drama. She would create ‘Scandal’ later. While ‘Scandal’ is shamelessly comic, camp and soap opera like, we shouldn’t ignore it’s relevance in 2016. A smart, straight forward talking, African American woman works at the White House where she has an affair with the leader of the free world. Also Shondaland has created recently ‘Quantico’ which continues to push bounderies by have it’s lead female be Asian FBI agent who is combating terrorism.
Gettng back to ‘HTGAWM’ it is as amusing, farcical, entertaining and dramatic as with all Rhimes television plots. It is given some weight and prestige due to Viola Davis’s major high end acting ability. While the narrative can often feel far fetched, her performance brings some reality in the pain and struggle of being a successful black lawyer. Annalise experiences sexism, racism and her intelligence is undermined daily by male counterparts. It questions themes of cultural self identity and gender in the face of ambition.
Von Von Lamunu