Shonda Rhimes Explains Scandal, Private Practice Casting Moves; Blasts Bunheads

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Shonda Rhimes has spoken out for the first time regarding two cast shake-ups on two of her hit shows.

In a chat with William Keck of TV Guide Magazine, the super producer first addresses the departure of Henry Ian Cusick from Scandal; and then Tim Daly from Private Practice.

Shonda Rhimes Image

"Henry Ian Cusick is such a great guy," Rhimes said. "In the making of the show, there was less for him to do than is deserving of him. I felt, why hold him back from doing other things?"

As for Daly... "There's a lot of budgetary issues on that show," Rhimes said of Private Practice, which was a last-minute renewal by ABC. "We need to make sure the show is viable and that we can produce it. I feel as though Tim's character had a wonderful journey."

Meanwhile, Rhimes took to Twitter last night and created a stir of a very different kind. Following the premiere of ABC Family's Bunheads, she wrote:

Hey @abcfbunheads: really? You couldn't cast even ONE young dancer of color so I could feel good about my kid watching this show? NOT ONE?

Considering the clout Rhimes yields, and the sheer number of followers she possesses, it's safe to assume this isn't the last we've heard of that subject.

Matt Richenthal is the Editor in Chief of TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter and on Google+.


her comment about Bunhead is just ridiculous. Is she teaching her kids to like only "color" people (I know she used that term, but I think she is stigmatizing by doing so)? I grew up watching shows like the Fresh Prince of BelAir and I was not feeling bad about watching a show with actors who do not look like me. The cast of Bunhead is nice and anyway, I wonder if the is a large community of black ballet dancers in tiny towns. I mean the cast looks realistic for me.


For goodness sakes! Did anyone think that maybe they just cast the four best actresses they could find with dance experience? The need for diversity has become insane, I don't care about the colour of the actor/actresses skin as long as they play their part well.


Ok, thats a little bit of a drammatic reaction to bunheads...I kind of hate it when that is the first place that people go when they watch a show, the content of cast members that are or are not a minority. We should not see race as different and for her to say "so i can feel good about my children watching it" ummmmm your kids can still be impressed with girls even if they are not of color.


@MT she used the term Color!?not me, I said I hate that term, I make difference between good and bad people everything other is pointless.
And yes she is insulting them by saying they(writers,crew) did that on Purpose. When U cast a role U choose the actor who fits the most and not the one who is that or that skin color just to forfill some level od diverse people.


She should speak out about those all white dominated shows. America is such a diverse country but as usual this will be swept under the rug. It is some kind of subtle racism and if you see it and pretend it doesn't exist, then it's as bad as the actual racism.


maybe the guy felt he wasn't being used well because no single character was developed besides Olivia Pope. It's weird she randomly critcised Bunheads of all things. not HIMYM, or Girls, or anything? Why did she target that one?


@Spindae first of all Shonda Rhimes is not insulting the show, which you don't even watch and are commenting on. If the show is trying to portray dancers, then they should portray dancers of all nationalities and races. That is only fair. Secondly, the term is African-American or Black. Colored?? Seriously?? What year are you living in- 1964?? IF you "don't like" the word, then why are you using it?? Sorry but your comment is insulting.


P.S. I really don't like "that" comment about BunHeads, i don't watch the show Dancers aren't my thing. But she is insulting the show(the writes, the cast and everyone who works on that show) and that's ugly. And her fears she should let to her self.
She doesn't know if there are any plans for colored(I hate that word) dancers. I really thought she was a Bigger man. But she surprised me with that low kick, to her colleges.


I'm all for a refresh of the PP cast.
Vi's and Pete's story is told.
Cooper and Charlotte are happy and on a beautiful way.
Addie hopefully ends up with a real man like JAKE.
Sam finally needs someone who gets him and that isn't Addie. So left are Amelia and Sheldon who can stay and try to lead the Practice what would be funny cause we all know they aren't leaders.


I understand "bugdetary issues", but in my opinion, it seemed as though Pete's character was one of the only characters that still had a story to tell. I love majority of the cast on PP, but I feel as though cutting Sam or even Sheldon or Amelia would have been acceptable. Especially with Caterina having a baby shortly. OR the possibility of not having ALL cast members appear in episodes. It would seem dull, but at least you still get to seem them.

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Private Practice Music

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Song Lost The Mary Onettes
Down in the valley Down In The Valley The Broken West iTunes
Song Message From Yuz The Switches