shonda-rhimes *“Scandal” may simply be a guilty pleasure for the show’s gladiators, but for Shonda Rhimes, the recognition of the hit show confirms its weight as something worthy of receiving a deeper look.

The “Scandal” creator, who was revealed on April 2 to receive a Peabody Award, admitted that her win against shows like “Breaking Bad” and PBS documentaries like “The African Americans: Many Rivers to Cross” came as not only a “complete shock,” but also vindication for “Scandal.” Although the series taps into the emotions of viewers with assassination attempts, adulterous affairs and jaw-dropping scandals, Rhimes says “Scandal” is more truthful than it is a an addictive drama.

Described as “part ‘West Wing‘ and part ‘Dynasty‘” by the Peabody awards committee, “Scandal” stars Kerry Washington.

“It’s the dark underbelly of Washington that we all desperately hope doesn’t exist but probably does in some way,” she told The Hollywood Reporter about her creation, which is based on the life of professional fixer Judy Smith. “I don’t think the show is a soap opera at all. It’s interesting when people say, ‘Olivia loves Fitz, but he’s not a good guy.’ I’m like, ‘You need to look around the landscape because they’re all murderers!'”

Rhimes is among the 46 winners of the Peabody Award. The honor will be presented May 19 in New York City.