Shonda Rhimes is a visionary writer and producer whose successful shows — her creations Grey's Anatomy and Scandal, and How to Get Away With Murder, which Rhimes executive produces — have changed the representation of women, LGBT people, and people of color on television. And on Wednesday, she accepted the Sherry Lansing Leadership Award at the annual Hollywood Reporter's Women in Entertainment Breakfast.
The event was packed with powerful executives, actors, and previous honorees. Tony Goldwyn, who plays Fitz on Scandal, began Rhimes' introduction — and gave way to a video message from first lady Michelle Obama, who called Rhimes "a friend." (She also confessed to being a Scandal addict.)
Rhimes took the podium to a standing ovation and delivered a moving speech in which she paid tribute to the women who went before her and cleared the way for her to create groundbreaking television.
Here is the speech in full.