*Last summer, TV producer Shonda Rhimes (“Scandal,” “Grey’s Anatomy,” “Private Practice”) took to Twitter to call out the executive producer of ABC Family’s new hit series “Bunheads” for the cast’s lack of diversity.
The show is set in a small-town ballet studio and run by “Gilmore Girls” creator Amy Sherman-Palladino. The first of 8 new episodes aired Monday.
The Rhimes tweet: “Hey@abcfbunheads: really? You couldn’t cast even ONE young dancer of color so I could feel good about my kids watching this show? Not ONE?”
After Thursday’s TCA panel on “Bunheads,” the always-outspoken Sherman-Palladino told Deadline.com there are no planned cast changes or additions to the list of major characters on the show to add diversity in response to Rhimes’ criticisms.
“No because everybody’s not white,” said Sherman-Palladino when asked about cast additions. She said that, for dance class members, the show borrows from the Marat Daukayev School at the Dance Arts Academy in Hollywood, which includes a diverse group of dancers. “When I went to class, it could have been white sheets, Aryan nation. Ballet was a white, white world. This class is not like that.”
Sherman-Palladino acknowledged that she is frustrated to be criticized after attempting to sell shows with minority leads but added with a shrug: “But what are you going to do, get into a pissing match on Twitter?”
(Rhimes later backtracked a little on her tweet, saying that she didn’t object to her kids watching shows with white actors and praising ‘Bunheads’ for showing girls of diverse body types).