Writer and Producer Shonda Rhimes Left ABC for Netflix Over Free Disneyland Tickets
It’s never fun when you’re having pass issues while visiting a Disney park, but for legendary television writer and producer Shonda Rhimes, it was the breaking point that prompted her to leave her longtime home at ABC and move to Netflix.
As part of an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, an account of the incident was shared. In 2017, Rhimes, as part of her deal with Disney-owned ABC that gave fans shows like “Grey’s Anatomy,” “Scandal,” “How to Get Away with Murder,” and “Station 19,” had an all-inclusive pass to Disneyland. Not having a partner, she negotiated to receive an additional pass for her nanny, who would take care of her youngest two children. When she was planning to visit The Happiest Place on Earth, Rhimes needed an extra pass for her sister to take her teenage daughter. She was apparently willing to give her pass to her sister had they been transferrable, as she was busy with work and unlikely to be able to go. She then spoke with Disney about another pass, and though they said “we don’t normally do this,” they ultimately granted her request.
On the day her daughters went to Disneyland, only one of the passes worked. Rhimes made a call to a high-level Disney executive in the hopes of resolving the matter, only to be told, “Don’t you have enough?” Following the call, she then called her lawyer with a demand: find a path that would allow her to move to Netflix, or she would hire someone else who could.
By that August, Rhimes signed a multi-year development deal with the streaming service, though she remains an executive producer and writer for her ongoing ABC shows.