In a new roundtable interview with Entertainment Weekly, Rhimes — along with Grey's Anatomy's Ellen Pompeo, How to Get Away With Murder's Viola Davis and Scandal's Kerry Washington — set the record straight about what it means to have a happily ever after.
Rhimes echoed Cristina's message to Meredith after McDreamy's death. "He was not the sun."
"When Cristina said that, Meredith realized that she had been taking a backseat to allow this man to get what he wanted," Rhimes explained. "In an effort not to become her mother, she had tried too hard to become something less. What I loved about Season 11 was her saying, 'That's not who I am.' It was so interesting for me to discover that audiences, especially women, are so conditioned to believe that there's a singular fairy tale that nobody stops to think that that might not be the definition of happiness."
For Rhimes, the big message was, "You complement me, but you don't complete me."
Pompeo echoed those sentiments, but also said that it's "really difficult for my ego" that people think her character Meredith Grey needs a man.
"It's like, Annalise Keating carries the show, Olivia Pope carries the show, but somehow, Meredith Grey needs someone," Pompeo said. "Why can't I just be the lead of the show the way Annalise and Olivia can? Why can't I be on that poster myself?"
Rhimes revealed that for Grey's Anatomy, it was never about McDreamy and Meredith. Rather, "Cristina and Meredith — that was the Olivia/Fitz romance."
Rhimes adamantly aspires to not spoon-feed women the same crap we've been told since childhood about what it means to be happy.
"We've been watching very homogenous television written by very homogenous people in very homogenous ways," Rhimes said.
Davis said for her HTGAWM character, Annalise, she is constantly striving to make her dialogue revolutionary, in that she wants her character to say and do the unexpected.
And the other ladies seemed to agree.
Washington added that Rhimes always says, "Everyone's going to be happy. It just may not be the way society has defined it up until now."
In other words, get ready for some unexpected happiness in Grey's Anatomy Season 12.
The show returns Sept. 24 on ABC.
And you'll see personalized content just for you whenever you click the My Feed .
SheKnows is making some changes!