Shonda Rhimes had a busy Wednesday on social media. The ABC producer first took to Twitter to dispel rumors that "Scandal," the popular series she created, was entering its last season — ABC's "Good Morning America" accidentally reported the misinformation during Thursday morning's broadcast — then she took aim at Fox News pundit Bill O'Reilly.
Rhimes blasted O'Reilly for some controversial comments the "O'Reilly Factor" host made about the history of slavery in America. While fact checking Michelle Obama's Democratic National Convention speech Tuesday, O'Reilly addressed the First Lady's comments that she lived in a "house that was built by slaves," referring to the White House. O'Reilly found the statement to be true, but not without some odd disclaimers.
"Slaves that worked there were well-fed and had decent lodgings provided by the government, which stopped hiring slave labor in 1802," O'Reilly said. "However, the feds did not forbid subcontractors from using slave labor. So, Michelle Obama is essentially correct in citing slaves as builders of the White House, but there were others working as well."
O'Reilly's comments struck many viewers as strange. O'Reilly did acknowledge that slave labor played a role in the construction of the White House, the crux of First Lady Obama's largely rhetorical point, and his goal appeared to be to simply illuminate a moment in history for his viewers. However, to many he also seemed to be downplaying the negative experience of the slaves involved.
For Rhimes, that did not go over well. In a pair of tweets, the "Grey's Anatomy" and "How to Get Away with Murder" creator attacked O'Reilly for the comments, reminding him that no matter the living conditions that slaves may have had during the project, they were still slaves. She mocked the idea that the quality of the food slaves ate determined the ethics of using slave labor, challenging the host to better empathize with the experience slaves faced in America.
Rhimes has endorsed Democrat Hillary Clinton and is one of more than 100 stars and power players in the entertainment industry who are banding together in an effort to stop Donald Trump from winning the White House. The group, called Artists United Against Hate, includes Bryan Cranston, Ryan Murphy, Ilene Chaiken, Michael Moore, Samuel L. Jackson, Kerry Washington, Julianne Moore, Mark Ruffalo, Lena Dunham, Neil Patrick Harris, Rashida Jones, Russell Simmons, Chloe Grace Moritz and Taylor Schilling.