Shonda Rhimes quizzed about workplace romances on TV shows, Netflix deal

Shonda Rhimes walked quickly off the stage following her second panel in a row at the Television Critics Association’s Winter Press Tour, during which she was hammered with questions about the appropriateness of the workplace romances that are routinely depicted in her shows.

Rhimes avoided answering additional press questions following the Q-and-A session for her upcoming courtroom drama “For the People” after she was asked again and again if she considered toning down the workplace hookups in her shows following the recent #MeToo movement that’s highlighted sexual harassment and abuse – often in the workplace.

Prior to the “For the People” panel, Rhimes was asked during the “Grey’s Anatomy” spinoff panel about the workplace romances that are a signature component of her series. Previews for both “For the People” and the “Grey’s” spinoff showed the series will include hot-and-heavy storylines.

“I don’t find sexual harassment and abuse in the workplace to be tricky territory,” she insisted during the “For the People” panel. “I think it’s very clear what’s appropriate and what’s not.”

She said her shows feature many scenes that would be inappropriate if they occurred in real life.

“I mean I think work isn’t the place to shoot people in the face either,” she said. “Seriously… I think there’s a lot of things that goes on in these shows that don’t reflect the real world.”

Rhimes is the creator of many of ABC’s hit dramas from “Scandal” to “Private Practice” to “How to Get Away with Murder.” Her Thursday night lineup on ABC was praised by critics and called must-see TV.

Ahead of Monday’s press events, she tweeted a smiling photo.

Rhimes recently inked a deal with Netflix, but she insisted she is still dedicated to her shows on ABC.

“I think there’s a misconception,” she said of her highly publicized deal. “We’re already at Netflix and we’re on ABC. Our deal with Netflix already began. It’s not like we’re going to pack our bags... We’re here. We have five shows at ABC. We’re developing another. We’re really happy where we are... It’s not as if there’s a separation date or something.”