Shonda Rhimes, lord and savior of ABC’s Thursday night lineup, is endorsing a presidential candidate: Donald Trump. She just thinks he gets how to talk about race in America.
No, actually, obviously, she has backed someone else: Hillary Clinton. Alongside the stars of her blockbuster series — Viola Davis (How to Get Away With Murder), Kerry Washington (Scandal), and Ellen Pompeo (Grey’s Anatomy) — Rhimes explains why she believes Clinton is worthy of her vote.
They describe the women they play in their shows, conveniently not mentioning the times that Olivia Pope has helped unsavory folk cover up their politically unpopular homicides. “Every day, I wake up and play a brilliant, complex, overqualified, get-it-done woman,” the three actresses take turns saying, before Rhimes steps in to add that she writes characters “I imagine we all can be.”
Then they say, one by one, “The real world has Hillary Clinton.”
These women join a fleet of celebrities who have already announced their allegiance to Clinton, including Lena Dunham, Beyoncé, Salma Hayek, Orange is the New Black star Uzo Aduba, America Ferrera (who also campaigned for Clinton in 2008), and — most importantly — Snoop Dogg.
For Washington, this marks the third election in a row that she’s actively stumping for a candidate. She campaigned for Obama in 2008 and 2012; she’s been saying for over a year now that she’s “thrilled” at the prospect of Clinton’s presidency. In 2008, Pompeo hosted voter registration rallies for the Obama campaign. And in 2014, Rhimes hosted a fundraiser for Obama at her home in Hancock Park, where Rhimes introduced POTUS by saying “he’s been doing his job like a boss” and he, in turn, shared his thoughts on one of Rhimes’ smash shows: “Scandal is a great show. But it’s not something that we necessarily want to be living out day in, day out.”
Does this celebrity endorsement matter? Does any celebrity endorsement matter? The Boston Globe has reported that experts say celebrity influence on this particular cycle is “fleeting,” although stars who draw in crowds for a living can, with their presence alone, attract people to events, fundraisers, rallies, and the like. And, of course, there’s the media buzz. (This story is the buzz the story is describing, Meta, I know.)