Was a Disneyland ticket the straw that broke the camel’s back — and sent mega-producer Shonda Rhimes fleeing the Mouse House for Netflix?
The Hollywood Reporter details how Ms. Rimes — creator of series such as Grey’s Anatomy, How to Get Away With Murder, and Scandal for Disney-owned ABC — was being courted by Netflix exec Ted Sarandos. At the same time, her reps were apparently entrenched in discussions with Disney suits.
Her decision — Disney vs. Netflix — was made easier after a dispute. Not over how many series she’d have to produce or what her salary would be.
Nope. Things came to a head after a dispute over a Disneyland ticket.
As part of her ABC relationship, Rhimes had been given an all-inclusive pass to Disneyland — and without a partner, she’d negotiated a second for her nanny. But on this day, she needed one for her sister, too, as she’d be taking Rhimes’ teenage daughter while the nanny chaperoned her younger two. If the passes had been interchangeable, Rhimes would have been happy to give up hers — when would she have time to go to Disneyland anyway?
So Ms. Rhimes — who “was making tens of millions of dollars for herself and more than $2 billion for Disney” — got in touch with someone at Disney who, apparently, had the power to get an extra ticket issued.
THR‘s Lacey Rose writes that “(after) some unwanted back-and-forth —’We never do this,’ she was told more than once — Rhimes was issued an additional pass.”
So Rhimes’ family headed to the Happiest Place on Earth. But when her daughters got to Disneyland’s gates, only one pass worked.
Rhimes lobbed a call to a high-ranking executive at the company. Surely, he would get this sorted.
Instead, the exec allegedly replied, “Don’t you have enough?”
Rhimes was beside herself. She thanked him for his time, then hung up and called her lawyer: Figure out a way to get her over to Netflix, or she’d find new representatives.
No word if everyone in her group got into Disneyland that day. And, if so, who paid for the ticket. Or what their favorite ride was. Or if they had one of those huge turkey legs in Frontierland.
But Ms. Rhimes eventually scored a deal with Netflix — which doesn’t have its own theme park. At least, not yet.
Featured image copyright: @photography.kelley
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