Black Female ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ Characters Aren’t Being Treated Fairly Online, According to Some Fans

If there’s a prevailing thought that character development on Grey’s Anatomy has kind of stalled, there seems to be some other arguments developing about the treatment of black women there.

Despite being created and written by a black woman (Shonda Rhimes), a few fans now contend there’s constant online bias from fans about these characters and their actions.

While racism has been widely discussed recently as being a bigger problem than the masses understood, one fan of Grey’s suggests it’s presenting itself further by criticizing fictional characters.

At play here is another social problem: Those who can’t seem to separate the actors from the characters. Does the Grey’s Anatomy fan community really have a troubling side like this, or is it just another exaggerated Reddit theory?

No matter what these women do on the show, they’re lambasted

CHANDRA WILSON as Miranda Bailey
CHANDRA WILSON | Ali Goldstein via Getty Images

When someone started a lengthy thread complaining about the above matter, they did make a compelling point. They listed all the black female characters on the show and how much flak they all received once Rhimes started writing them with “real” personal problems.

For instance, Miranda Bailey (Chandra Wilson) received critical response from fans once the show moved beyond showing her as someone who seemed all-too-perfect. The same thing seemed to happen with Stephanie Edwards (Jerrika Hinton) when fans accused her of being more arrogant than she’d ever been before.

These are just two examples outlined recently on Reddit where the poster recounts endless complaining about how the characters react to things. Most telling is that with all the characters on Grey’s having sometimes annoying flaws, the black women get the most hate for their actions.

In the older days of TV, black characters didn’t receive the same criticisms

Thanks to producer names like Norman Lear, more black characters were shown on TV during the 1970s. Maybe they would have received similar criticisms from questionable people back then had Twitter been around 50 years ago.

On the other hand, black characters were not made to reflect real life as much as they are now. Shonda Rhimes had the insight to make the black women in her shows have complex problems, a far cry from the sitcoms of the ’70s and ’80s.

Because this often requires similar complex behavior to solve those issues, the drama seems to be tapping into how some people react to similar situations in the real world.

Can fan bias be addressed in the show?

According to reports, some of the black actresses who portray the criticized characters received hateful comments from people on social media.

Thankfully, it didn’t chase away these exemplary actresses from continuing to act on Grey’s Anatomy. One thing for sure is the inclusion of them on the show is done organically without their characters facing too many racial issues.

Addressing how outsiders treat them, though, would be worth exploring as a metaphor for what the actresses have gone through. Would Rhimes do that, or is the show now complacent in its latter years?

Rhimes hasn’t been afraid to take on some serious themes with other black characters she created, like on Scandal, plus some movies she’s written. Doing something to address fan venom and their seeming blind bias would be one way to tie up Grey’s into a bow as a reminder how socially relevant it once was.