Podcast·2 min read

Shonda Rhimes and Betsy Beers on Finding Your Creative Partner

October 26, 2022

On this episode of 9 to 5ish, Shonda Rhimes and Betsy Beers share how trust and honesty played key roles in creating Shondaland, the company behind our binge worthy faves like Bridgerton, Scandal, and Grey’s Anatomy. 

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On the Kind of People They Want to Work With

Shonda: We look for talented people who will argue with us. And by that I mean people who are fearless and will tell us what they really think. We’re in this great position now where we're able to search for sort of best in class people. We definitely like to bring in lots of young people, raise them and watch them grow in our company, but we also can bring in people who are just spectacular at what they do and raise our game. 

Betsy: Also, it’s finding people who share our approach in a lot of ways to material, but who have strong points of view, who bring a lot of their own point of view to the table as well. And who are just really passionate about the work.

On How they Support Each Other

Betsy: We each have a panic button. A while ago we sort of talked about it and we said, “All right, look. It's sacred. If I hit the panic button, you've gotta respond. And vice versa.” In the old days, we called it the barking dog. We had this thing where something's bugging you in the back of your head. And you don't know what it is, but you know it's bugging you, and you know it's gonna be a problem. You just don't know what it's gonna look like. And the rule was, you never say no to a barking dog. You just accept that the dog is barking and it probably means something. And it always did. But the end result has been too, as we've grown over the years, it's having the respect for each other to understand the other person needs the support. Sometimes just to listen, but also the craft and creative business of problem solving.

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