Shonda Rhimes and Her ‘Shondaland’ Family Cover October Issue of ESSENCE

9/10/1015 ESSENCE, along with our sister publications People and Entertainment Weekly, brought together the casts of Grey’s Anatomy, Scandal, and How to Get Away With Murder for an unprecedented photo shoot that resulted in 6—yes, 6!—fabulous ESSENCE covers and one in-depth profile of the Shondaland matriarch.

Journalist Bene Viera quickly notes the obvious camaraderie between the stars in Rhimes’ #TGIT family and attributes it to the creator and showrunner’s “no asshole policy.”

“I like the fact that we all get along,” says Rhimes. “I feel like you’re supposed to be happy at work. If you’re not happy, then you are in the wrong place.”

It is clear that stars Kerry Washington, Viola Davis, Jessie Williams, James Pickens Jr. and the rest of the small-screen empire are happy to be on top of the respective games, as well as inspired by their boss.Grey’s star/director and Shondaland O.G. Chandra Wilson on Rhimes: “The thing I learned the most from her is not to be afraid of yes. I see her exemplify that all of the time in her personal and professional life.”

Washington agrees. “To have Shonda as an example of somebody who is living life fully and attempting to bring the best version of herself to so many different areas of her life has been really powerful for me.”

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