Shonda Rhimes is the mastermind behind three of ABC's top shows and she seeks to accurately represent society in her storytelling.
"I think that television should look like the world," she told Access Hollywood at The Human Rights Campaign Los Angeles Gala on Saturday night. "It would feel very odd to pretend that there weren't LGBT characters in the world. And to me, love is love. And we want to show every kind of character that exists in the world and to tell every kind of story."
The woman responsible for hits such as "Grey's Anatomy" and "How To Get Away With Murder," spoke about working with Kerry Washington, who plays fixer Olivia Pope on her political drama, "Scandal."
"We have a really wonderful collaboration," Shonda said. "The characters don't exist until they're inhabited by actors. You know, I make them up and I write the characters, I write the dialogue and I have the story around them, but until an actor inhabits the character, the character is not real and so, for me, it's just a wonderful partnership."
Another "Scandal" star, Guillermo Diaz – who plays Huck – was on hand to present the "Scandal" creator with an award from the HRC and thanked her for creating opportunities for actors like himself.
"She's more deserving than anyone else I know," he said. "She casts blindly. She's my boss and, from experience, she cast me - I'm a gay Latino - and she took a chance on me, giving me this role of a formally trained killer spy, this guy that I automatically assumed was white and straight and, you know, I remember when I auditioned I didn't think I had a shot and I got the call that I got the role and she, you know, she kinda takes chances on actors that normally wouldn't be cast in sort of lead roles or regulars on shows and she's kind of opened those doors and shown the industry that it's possible and that it works out."
Guillermo plays straight on "Scandal," but expressed why he thinks it's important to also have LGBT plotlines portrayed on TV series.
"It's for middle America and for the whole world to see that…we're as American as apple pie," he said.
Last week on "Scandal," Huck reunited with his estranged wife and son. In an effort to win back his wife's trust, he began to come clean about his involvement with B613 – and the actor hinted at what's to come.
"Now we're gonna see what the sort of ramifications of what he has said openly are gonna be," he said. "You know, I think Huck just wants to be with his family now and have his wife and his kid and that's become sort of the most important thing in his life right now, regardless of the consequences."
"Scandal" airs Thursdays at 9/8c on ABC.
-- Paige Feigenbaum