Five Thoughts on Arizona, From Shonda Rhimes

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WARNING: If you haven't seen this week's episode (or last week's), turn back now.

Grey's Anatomy treated us to another powerful episode this week, and show creator Shonda Rhimes is weighing in with her thoughts on Jessica Capshaw's shocking new storyline. Five of them, to be exact.

Having already eulogized Mark Sloan, Shonda is now defending her decision to have Arizona's leg amputated. Follow the link for our Grey's Anatomy review from last night, then read Rhimes' take below.

Her five thoughts on Arizona Robbins losing her leg are ...

1. It felt real to me that Arizona would lose her leg.

That someone we love so much would go from being ambulatory to WORKING on being ambulatory, that we would begin to understand what it is like to be differently abled from watching a person we love BECOME differently abled.

2. To all those who posited that Arizona lost a leg because she’s a lesbian, I say: WHA….???!!! Or maybe I should say: “There was a second shooter on a grassy knoll, Area 51 isn’t just a myth and AIDS was created by the government.”

Or you know, “THAT IS INSANE!” We don’t punish people for their sexual preferences.

That is so 1985. We allow people, no matter what their sexual preference, to have complex storylines. Arizona is a lesbian who also happens to lose her leg in a plane crash. Why? Because

  1. Jessica Capshaw is an AWESOME KICKASS actor who deserves a chance to showcase what she has to bring to the table (fyi, as does Arizona’s wife - Sara Ramirez) and
  2. I felt it important to develop a storyline that detailed what happens when an able-bodied person loses a limb and then how that person resumes their life.

It’s upsetting to me that “disabled” is a word that never enters into a conversation about how we live our lives. So, y’know, if you think she lost a leg because she is a lesbian, I say “GET A LIFE.”

Or maybe “LOSE A LEG.” And then see how you feel about a sexy adorable person who happens to have a residual stump. Think about it. And then GET WITH THE PROGRAM. Please. Thank you.

For reasons 3-5, head on over to Shonda's blog ...

Steve Marsi is the Managing Editor of TV Fanatic. Follow him on Google+ or email him here.


Don't ya just feel so sorry for arizona? She needs more focus on her and not the others!!!


I think this has the potential to be a great storyline. I feel like this is being told through Callie's view, and how she is dealing with her wife losing a leg and losing her best friend and how she is coping with everything through the first 2 episodes. I would really like it to be told through Arizona's view. This may be because Arizona has had very little screen time thus far. I am hoping that we get to see more of Arizona and her struggle to get better and feel good about herself again, and how her and Callie repair their relationship. I am hoping that this storyline is told honestly and done well.


It always amazes me at the comments that people make and the ones that truly believe there own tongues! HOW on GOD'S green earth can you actually believe that ours why she lost her leg? I guess that would mean if we were all being"punished" for being gay, there would be an awful lot of one legged people out there! Shonda PLEASE keep the calzona story line going. Takes us away from reality a bit. Thank you!!


Kudos to Shonda for taking on this storyline. I think it's ludicrous that people think this was an attack on lesbians, ugh. I personally know what it is to be able bodied one day then disabled the next! It' real it happens people. I think that when Arizona finally gets back to a good place Shonda will highlight her as a beautiful, sexy woman that is in love and is loved. A woman who has a great career and a family. Im sorry one of my favorite characters is going through it but I'm glad Shonda did it cause how many disabled people do we see as major characters on tv?? I think it's been a long time coming.


Arizona did make alex better and thats why he was able to go to hopkins, she had her own selfish reasons for getting on that plan. i can understand her putting blame somewhere she feels most comfortable but she should have been proud of him instead of being stubborn and taking his place on the plan. she can blame him for being what she wanted him to be.


its a great storyline for arizona but i just wish they could all be happy again.
and with the an able bodied person to be 'disabled' well i think it'll show a lot of people how to cope also and find out whats worth living for


don't forget @ Daron... the Karev character has been an evil spawn a$$ for mostly his whole time on Grey's but u don't say much about him. double standard much. If anything, Arizona taught him to be a better, caring person and doctor. As he said in the finale, "she made him who he is"


I think it's great that Shonda is trying to tell a story about people who have lost a limb. I haven't necessarily been waiting for that storyline on Grey's for the past nine years, but I appreciate her comments after seeing so many people criticize Arionza for having the attitude she does after losing her leg. It's a huge transition to make, and it's not easy on the newly disabled or the people around them who also have to adjust their lives. Jessica Capshaw has done an incredible job portraying the emotions. Grey's is lucky to have her still around!


I asked a lesbian friend about #2 and apparently in movies and tv there is a ton of precedent for same sex couples dieing or being punished. That may be the case, but I don't think anyone came out of that crash without issues. Seems silly to me. It was hard to see Arizona tough on Alex, but it seemed real to me. I've always loved their friendship, and I hope they get it back. I was hesitant of this storyline at first, but I can't deny that after 2 episodes I'm in love with it. Those women really can act their asses off and I can't wait to see what's next!


What does being gay and losing your leg have to do with each other. Arizona needs to give Alex a break. He was just follwing orders. And shes angery at him what a b@###.