by Guest Contributor Melissa Silverstein, originally published at Women and Hollywood
The thing that I love about Grey’s Anatomy is how great the women of color are. Strong, decisive, smart…awesome. Sandra Oh, Sara Ramirez, Loretta Devine. My favorite character is Miranda Bailey played by Chandra Wilson. No one even comes close to my love and respect for her.
But as I was reading this past weekend about some lame comments from ABC Chief Stephen McPherson at the Television Critics Association gathering about how they (ABC) just didn’t like Brooke Smith’s character Erica Hahn on Grey’s, — “the character was not working for us, and the dynamic with the relationship was just not working for us…” — I realized that all of Grey’s Anatomy’s white women are pathetic.
Think about it. The strong ones — Addison Montgomery was spun off to her own show in LA and seems to have lost her compass, and Erica Hahn was fired because her chemistry with Callie just wasn’t good enough, and maybe she just came off as a bit too strong. Meredith (Ellen Pompeo) has always been one step from pathetic. She holds the story together, but she is no pillar of strength. Izzie (Katherine Heigl) has gone over the deep end this season appearing in a bad version of the “I See My Dead Husband” Sally Field, Jeff Bridges and James Caan 80s romance Kiss Me Goodbye. Sadie the sadist is gone as of February and she never did anything of note except almost kill herself. Lexie is shagging Mark and who knows where that one is going. And now they’ve brought in Jessica Capshaw as pediatric surgeon Arizona Robbins to supposedly be the new girlfriend of Sara Ramirez’ Callie. First and second impressions have not been good. She pretty much comes off as a bubbly idiot and even Miranda looked like she wanted to belt her.
While it’s so unprecedented that the women of color are written so well and strong on Grey’s (cause they hardly exist of most others shows), I don’t think it should or will diminish from those characters if we pump some strength into the white women.
I think it will make the show better.