News Here’s how Disney lost Shonda Rhimes to Netflix over a Disneyland pass

TP2000

Well-Known Member
So which is it? Was she being an entitled b or was Disney being stingy? Probably both.

This story just keeps on giving!

I got a surprise DM from a CM (follow that?) who lurks here that knows about this incident first hand, as when a crazy Karen is yelling at you that "I'm Shonda Rhimes sister! Let me in!" and you have no idea who Shonda Rhimes is, it's a memorable day at work. 🤣

I got tons of information from this CM, but I sifted through it and figured it out and I'm going to paraphrase a bit to protect the innocent, but what I learned is this (and it's even more unflattering for poor Shonda)...

Shonda Rhimes had a "Main Gate Pass", because she was an employee of the Walt Disney Company. A Main Gate Pass is nothing special, it's given out to every full time Disney employee coast-to-coast as part of their benefits package, from janitors in Orlando to bigwig TV Producers in Hollywood. A Main Gate Pass gets you and/or your legal spouse, plus your "dependency listing" of your legal children that is on file with Disney HR, into the park with one-day park hopper tickets. There are blockout dates for Main Gate Passes, just like lower level AP's.

Shonda Rhimes is an unmarried ABC employee with three children on file with HR, so her Main Gate Pass is good for herself and 3 guests. What makes Shonda Rhimes interesting is that she's too busy to take her kids to Disneyland, so she has her nanny do it for her. But previously she ran into trouble with that because her nanny is not her legal spouse, so her nanny was not listed on the Main Gate Pass. Shonda had her lawyers negotiate with Disney to break their own established rules and let the nanny be listed on the Main Gate Pass so that the nanny can use it without Shonda having to be there. A legal spouse may use their spouse's Main Gate Pass, but no one else. Certainly not a household employee like a nanny or a cook. But let's not forget how very, very special Shonda Rhimes is. :rolleyes:

So before the nanny showed up with the kids at Disneyland that fateful day, Shonda was already used to thinking the rules of the Main Gate Pass don't apply to her. This is where Disney has some blame for sowing their own scandal by establishing the rules don't apply to Shonda Rhimes. But on the day in question, it wasn't just the nanny and three kids using the Main Gate Pass, Shonda's sister also tagged along. Shonda's sister put them over the limit of three guests, because now there are four people trying to get into the park with the nanny who is using Shonda's Main Gate Pass. And the CM at the turnstile said "Sorry, your Main Gate Pass only prints out three extra comp tickets. I'll need to have a fourth ticket to let you all in."

And that's where it all fell apart very quickly. Shonda's sister immediately starting throwing the name Shonda Rhimes around, right there at the turnstile. The CM was an elderly lady who had no idea what the words "Shonda Rhimes" meant, she just needed to have the adult yelling at her give her a ticket to be let into the park. Managers were summoned, the group was moved off to the side to figure it out, but it was clearly apparent; this was a Disney employee of some type trying to bully their way into the park with a 4th guest on a Main Gate Pass that was only valid for 3 guests. The manager and "Lead" shift supervisors also had no idea who Shonda Rhimes is, although they did have basic knowledge of the show Grey's Anatomy as that reference was used often by Shonda's sister.

Shonda's sister was on the phone with Shonda, the phone was passed to the manager on duty and Shonda tried to tell the manager that he was making a big mistake and he would be fired if he didn't let Shonda's sister into the park immediately. The Disneyland CM's and turnstile manager dug in their heels and stood their ground. Shonda's sister fumed and also told them they were all losing their jobs by morning. Shonda called some executives in Burbank demanding they "do something" and get her sister into Disneyland ASAP. More calls were made.

Disneyland's Guest Relations team was then involved, but they had no record of any extra ticket being set aside for Shonda Rhimes that day, and no previous communication on the matter at all. Lots of CM's were then Googling Shonda Rhimes to try and figure out who she was and what she did for Disney, just out of curiosity.

Eventually after some time, a separate department in TDA was involved by Burbank who brought a comp ticket out to the Esplanade and gave it to Shonda's sister to use for the day. The party then went into the park with lots of attitude and more scorn heaped on the turnstile CM's who dared not let Shonda Rhime's sister into Disneyland for free. Peasants!

It was their very rude and horrible attitude that made this incident so memorable for the CM's involved.
If Shonda's sister there in person, and Shonda via the phone, had all just been more polite about it, had been kinder to the CM's doing their jobs, and just played it off as a misunderstanding, the incident would not have been so memorable to the CM's involved.

Of course, no CM's involved lost their jobs. No one was reprimanded, because all CM's involved did exactly what they were supposed to do. The managers thanked all the CM's involved for performing so well, and the elderly CM who took the brunt of the Rhimes family scorn was given a Starbucks gift card by her supervisor. It was just another crazy day at the Disneyland turnstiles.

It seems my jokey reference earlier about Shonda Rhimes letting her sister use her dental plan wasn't too far off. Basically... Shonda Rhimes was infuriated that her Main Gate Pass valid for 3 people wasn't simply turned into being valid for 4 people because she is Shonda Rhimes and she has a sister. And so she left Disney and now works for Netflix.

Just another day in Hollywood, gang. They're such pleasant people to be around! Let's adore them! :rolleyes:
 
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1HAPPYGHOSTHOST

Well-Known Member
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This story just keeps on giving!

I got a surprise DM from a CM (follow that?) who lurks here that knows about this incident first hand, as when a crazy Karen is yelling at you that "I'm Shonda Rhimes sister! Let me in!" and you have no idea who Shonda Rhimes is, it's a memorable day at work. 🤣

I got tons of information from this CM, but I sifted through it and figured it out and I'm going to paraphrase a bit to protect the innocent, but what I learned is this (and it's even more unflattering for poor Shonda)...

Shonda Rhimes had a "Main Gate Pass", because she was an employee of the Walt Disney Company. A Main Gate Pass is nothing special, it's given out to every full time Disney employee coast-to-coast as part of their benefits package, from janitors in Orlando to bigwig TV Producers in Hollywood. A Main Gate Pass gets you and/or your legal spouse, plus your "dependency listing" of your legal children that is on file with Disney HR, into the park with one-day park hopper tickets. There are blockout dates for Main Gate Passes, just like lower level AP's.

Shonda Rhimes is an unmarried ABC employee with three children on file with HR, so her Main Gate Pass is good for herself and 3 guests. What makes Shonda Rhimes interesting is that she's too busy to take her kids to Disneyland, so she has her nanny do it for her. But previously she ran into trouble with that because her nanny is not her legal spouse, so her nanny was not listed on the Main Gate Pass. Shonda had her lawyers negotiate with Disney to break their own established rules and let the nanny be listed on the Main Gate Pass so that the nanny can use it without Shonda having to be there. A legal spouse may use their spouse's Main Gate Pass, but no one else. Certainly not a household employee like a nanny or a cook. But let's not forget how very, very special Shonda Rhimes is. :rolleyes:

So before the nanny showed up with the kids at Disneyland that fateful day, Shonda was already used to thinking the rules of the Main Gate Pass don't apply to her. This is where Disney has some blame for sowing their own scandal by establishing the rules don't apply to Shonda Rhimes. But on the day in question, it wasn't just the nanny and three kids using the Main Gate Pass, Shonda's sister also tagged along. Shonda's sister put them over the limit of three guests, because now there are four people trying to get into the park with the nanny who is using Shonda's Main Gate Pass. And the CM at the turnstile said "Sorry, your Main Gate Pass only prints out three extra comp tickets. I'll need to have a fourth ticket to let you all in."

And that's where it all fell apart very quickly. Shonda's sister immediately starting throwing the name Shonda Rhimes around, right there at the turnstile. The CM was an elderly lady who had no idea what the words "Shonda Rhimes" meant, she just needed to have the adult yelling at her give her a ticket to be let into the park. Managers were summoned, the group was moved off to the side to figure it out, but it was clearly apparent; this was a Disney employee of some type trying to bully their way into the park with a 4th guest on a Main Gate Pass that was only valid for 3 guests. The manager and "Lead" shift supervisors also had no idea who Shonda Rhimes is, although they did have basic knowledge of the show Grey's Anatomy as that reference was used often by Shonda's sister.

Shonda's sister was on the phone with Shonda, the phone was passed to the manager on duty and Shonda tried to tell the manager that he was making a big mistake and he would be fired if he didn't let Shonda's sister into the park immediately. The Disneyland CM's and turnstile manager dug in their heels and stood their ground. Shonda's sister fumed and also told them they were all losing their jobs by morning. Shonda called some executives in Burbank demanding they "do something" and get her sister into Disneyland ASAP. More calls were made.

Disneyland's Guest Relations team was then involved, but they had no record of any extra ticket being set aside for Shonda Rhimes that day, and no previous communication on the matter at all.

Eventually after some time, a separate department in TDA was involved by Burbank who brought a comp ticket out to the Esplanade and gave it to Shonda's sister to use for the day. The party then went into the park with lots of attitude and more scorn heaped on the turnstile CM's who dared not let Shonda Rhime's sister into Disneyland for free. Peasants!

It was their very rude and horrible attitude that made this incident so memorable for the CM's involved.


Of course, no CM's involved lost their jobs. No one was reprimanded, because all CM's involved did exactly what they were supposed to do. The managers thanked all the CM's involved for performing so well, and the elderly CM who took the brunt of the Rhimes family scorn was given a Starbucks gift card by her supervisor. It was just another crazy day at the Disneyland turnstiles.

It seems my jokey reference earlier about Shonda Rhimes letting her family use her dental plan wasn't too far off. Basically... Shonda Rhimes was infuriated that her Main Gate Pass valid for 3 people wasn't simply turned into being valid for 4 people because she is Shonda Rhimes and she has a sister. And so she left Disney and now works for Netflix.

Just another day in Hollywood, gang. They're such pleasant people to be around! Let's adore them! :rolleyes:
Wooow. What an entitled diva. Good riddance.
 

SuddenStorm

Well-Known Member
I'm fairly sure main gate passes can be revoked if the persons utilizing the comp tickets are disruptive, or if the ticket privileges are abused in other ways.

I wonder if Disney considered revoking the pass after this whole debacle.
 

Stevek

Well-Known Member
I'm fairly sure main gate passes can be revoked if the persons utilizing the comp tickets are disruptive, or if the ticket privileges are abused in other ways.

I wonder if Disney considered revoking the pass after this whole debacle.
Well, she did go to Netflix so seems like a good reason to revoke it.
 

drizgirl

Well-Known Member
And I'm sure it never even occurred to her to just buy her sister a ticket. Anyone have a guess what her compensation package is (was)?

It was time for Grey's to end anyway. I'll be sorry to see it go, but it was time.
 

_caleb

Well-Known Member
I really hate entitled behavior.

But keep in mind that Shonda Rhimes made a LOT of money for Disney. She wasn’t just another CM. As director/showrunner for several shows and films–many of which really helped Disney strengthen its African American audience–she was kind of a big deal in the company. (Obviously she seemed to think so.)

Again, I’m not excusing the bad behavior (neither her’s nor her sister’s!), but the nanny had likely breezed through the gates without a ticket several times before this.

She definitely doesn’t need Disney anymore, and she can certainly afford as many tickets as she’d like. But losing Shonda is a big deal for Disney.
 

drizgirl

Well-Known Member
I really hate entitled behavior.

But keep in mind that Shonda Rhimes made a LOT of money for Disney. She wasn’t just another CM. As director/showrunner for several shows and films–many of which really helped Disney strengthen its African American audience–she was kind of a big deal in the company. (Obviously she seemed to think so.)

Again, I’m not excusing the bad behavior (neither her’s nor her sister’s!), but the nanny had likely breezed through the gates without a ticket several times before this.

She definitely doesn’t need Disney anymore, and she can certainly afford as many tickets as she’d like. But losing Shonda is a big deal for Disney.
I do too. So the rest of that doesn't matter.

I didn't really know much about her as a person, just a great storyteller. Now I will be thinking of her merely as another Hollywood diva.
 

_caleb

Well-Known Member
I do too. So the rest of that doesn't matter.

I didn't really know much about her as a person, just a great storyteller. Now I will be thinking of her merely as another Hollywood diva.
So without knowing the arrangement she had with the company, and without knowing what actually happened (beyond what @TP2000 heard from a friend), you’re ready to write her off as “just another Hollywood diva?”

Seems like a big dogpile here. I’ll leave you to it.
 

_caleb

Well-Known Member
Doesn’t her reaction alone scream “diva”?
Maybe. Like I said, I’m sure she didn’t leave Disney/ABC for Netflix because of this incident. To me, the article points to an ongoing struggle between Rhimes and Disney. The line, “Don’t you have enough?” she got from the Disney exec seemed like more than asking whether she had enough money to buy a few tickets to Disneyland. If she was already feeling frustrated with Disney for not following through on promises made, and then they fail to provide the park pass perk (say that 5 time fast!), it seems like it could have served as a last straw for her.

I don’t like entitled behavior, so if that‘s what this was, shame on her. But this article alone (even with the account from TP’s friend) doesn’t make it clear to me.

In the end, it really doesn’t matter. I’m not super invested in this drama. I am curious how Disney will fill the void after losing Shonda Rhimes, Kenya Barris, and Ava DuVernay though.
 

drizgirl

Well-Known Member
Maybe. Like I said, I’m sure she didn’t leave Disney/ABC for Netflix because of this incident. To me, the article points to an ongoing struggle between Rhimes and Disney. The line, “Don’t you have enough?” she got from the Disney exec seemed like more than asking whether she had enough money to buy a few tickets to Disneyland. If she was already feeling frustrated with Disney for not following through on promises made, and then they fail to provide the park pass perk (say that 5 time fast!), it seems like it could have served as a last straw for her.

I don’t like entitled behavior, so if that‘s what this was, shame on her. But this article alone (even with the account from TP’s friend) doesn’t make it clear to me.

In the end, it really doesn’t matter. I’m not super invested in this drama. I am curious how Disney will fill the void after losing Shonda Rhimes, Kenya Barris, and Ava DuVernay though.
Doesn't matter to me whether she left over it or not. Making such a big stink about a $120 ticket she could afford so easily just screams diva to me. Just pay for the damn ticket and make Disney reimburse you for it later if it's that big a deal.
 

TP2000

Well-Known Member
I don’t like entitled behavior, so if that‘s what this was, shame on her. But this article alone (even with the account from TP’s friend) doesn’t make it clear to me.

Just to clarify, I have some friends here, but the person who messaged me is not a friend. They were a stranger to me, and they lurk here.

I don't blame them for lurking as they are on furlough still and are hoping to get their job back at Disneyland if it reopens, so I doubt we'll hear from that person. But they seemed extremely knowledgeable about the situation and provided a great deal of information. He or she also seems like a nice person.

That said, they messaged me because I was already making fun of Ms. Rhimes for her bad behavior evident just in her statement to the Hollywood Reporter magazine. Shonda's public statement didn't pass the smell test.

Shonda Rhimes had been allowed to use her standard employee benefits (Main Gate Pass) in a way that no other Disney employee gets to do (have a household staff member use the pass instead of a legal spouse), and that wasn't enough for her. She wanted an extra free ticket given to her sister. And when the elderly CM staffing the turnstile tried to explain that wasn't going to work, the situation blew up quickly and dramatically and all the CM's involved were told they were idiots who would all be losing their lowly jobs by morning. Classy!

Knowing that, we have no idea what Shonda Rhimes even said to the executive who insulted her by allegedly saying "Don't you have enough?". If Shonda Rhimes can yell at and demean a lowly Disneyland manager she doesn't know over the phone, I can only imagine how insulting and abusive she can be to Disney executives she has a working relationship with who she perceives aren't kissing her behind enough.

According to Google, Shonda Rhimes has a net worth of $135 Million. Not that that has anything to do with her sister getting a free ticket to Disneyland. But you'd think Shonda could spot her sis a couple hundred bucks if the sister didn't have the cash to go to Disneyland that day.
 
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TP2000

Well-Known Member
I should add, one of the funniest parts of the information given to me was the repeated use of the phrases "Shonda Rhimes!" and "Don't you know who I am?!?" as the situation played out in person and on the phone there at the Disneyland turnstiles.

No, Ms. Rhimes, no one knew who you were. Your name had zero recognition with multiple people. CM's were having to Google you to find out. And even then it still doesn't change the terms of use for your Main Gate Pass.

Ms. Rhimes, if name recognition is important to you, and apparently it is, maybe you should get a better PR team? 🤣


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LastoneOn

Well-Known Member
This whole thing:
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fctiger

Well-Known Member
I just looked up Shonda's net worth, she is worth $135 million dollars. A day pass is probably what she spends on her dinners alone.

But yes Disney can just let her sister go in just as a courtesy when your content maker has probably made you over a billion dollars in revenue in the last 15 years but as someone said it looks petty all around on both sides.

But I don't think that was the 'last straw', it sounds like she's been wanting to switch up. And on Netflix you can just do more things, add sex and language, ie more adult, and don't have the censors question every little story line. Her shows always thread that line now, she probably wants more freedom a Disney network can't do at his point.
 

drizgirl

Well-Known Member
But yes Disney can just let her sister go in just as a courtesy when your content maker has probably made you over a billion dollars in revenue in the last 15 years but as someone said it looks petty all around on both sides.
But did the CMs at the front gate even know that? I mean, I've heard of Shonda, but I've watched Grey's since early on. Lots of people have never heard of her.
 

truecoat

Well-Known Member
I should add, one of the funniest parts of the information given to me was the repeated use of the phrases "Shonda Rhimes!" and "Don't you know who I am?!?" as the situation played out in person and on the phone there at the Disneyland turnstiles.

No, Ms. Rhimes, no one knew who you were. Your name had zero recognition with multiple people. CM's were having to Google you to find out. And even then it still doesn't change the terms of use for your Main Gate Pass.

Ms. Rhimes, if name recognition is important to you, and apparently it is, maybe you should get a better PR team? 🤣


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In the end, was Shonda short on money? No. Did she negotiate a special pass for anyone she wants as part of her contract? No. This was a I can do whatever I want move because I'm Shonda Rhimes. She didn't need the extra pass, she DESERVED the extra pass.
 

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