“Glee”‘s Dianna Agron hosts the GLAAD Media Awards in San Francisco

With Shonda Rhimes, who received the Golden Gate award:

AE: First of all, practically all of lesbiankind has asked me to throw myself at your feet and beg for your mercy to not kill Arizona when next season starts.
SR:  I can’t tell you anything about casting or anything about next season. It’s all a secret or I’d have to kill you.

AE: But, our readers might be OK with that if they got to know she was alright. So Callie and Arizona are characters who are very popular with lesbian and bisexual fans. How is it that you are able to write these gay characters so well who are so well loved?
SR: Hopefully I love is universal. I feel like any two people in love behave the same way as any other two people in love. It doesn’t matter if they are a man or a woman or two men and two women. To me it’s about writing about two women in love and feeling authentic in those characters. Also I have Jessica Capshaw who is amazing and Sara Ramirez who is incredible. So they have the most amazing chemistry together, which I think is really wonderful.

Credit: Photo courtesy of Lydia Gonzales

AE: Diversity is obviously important to you in writing and casting, from the beginning did you always want to include LGBT characters on Grey’s Anatomy?
SR: Yes. I feel like it is important. To me it feels like the civil rights movement of our times. Everyone should be represented. I grew up not seeing people who looked like me on television, except for The Cosby Show. I feel like that translates to a lot of other people and that should be something universal to television.

AE: How does it feel tonight to be honored for your work by GLAAD?
SR: It’s a huge honor. They are sort of saying I’m doing my job correctly, which is nice. We’re telling stories about people who don’t normally get stories told about them. Someone told me the statistics of LGBT characters on television, I was horrified to find out there weren’t that many. So it’s exciting for me to be told we’re doing a good job.

AE: So do you hear a lot from your lesbian fanbase. I know you’re very active on social media and the Calzona Army talks to you.
SR: I hear a huge amount from the lesbian fanbase and I love the Calzona Army. I feel like it is one of the things that is great. They sort of validate what we’re doing. Every time I fight with Standards & Practices to get to do a scene – and I don’t have to do that very much anymore, thank God – but every time I did that to then hear from the fanbase that, “Oh, they had a scene where they were kissing, thank you” or “Oh, they had a scene where they were in bed, thank you,” it meant a lot to me. I thought, how can this be so rare that this is happening? So I love hearing from them, it’s great.

Credit: Photo courtesy of Lydia Gonzales

Katie Lowes, plays Quinn on the new Rhimes show Scandal:

AE: Shonda is getting the Golden Gate award tonight and she always includes a lot of diversity on her shows, did that attract you to being on one of her shows?
KL: Absolutely. She represents all different people on her shows and I think it’s really important to be able to turn on the television and see someone like you, whoever that may be – race, sexual orientation, socioeconomic background – and she includes all of that on all of her shows. And when word got out that a new Shonda Rhimes show was coming out, you’re chomping at the bit to be a part of it, not only because it’s going to be incredible because all of her humanity is compassionate.

AE: Tell me about this first season of Scandal, how has response been?
KL: It’s been like nothing I’ve ever been through. People are just die-hard fans of it and I can’t even believe I’m on this show. The series ends with my character as a cliff-hanger, you don’t know who she really is. So I’m just really excited for Season 2.

AE: Do you know?
KL: [Shakes head] I’m not allowed to say anything and I see my boss Shonda [points up red carpet] right over there. So I’ll get in huge trouble if anything is leaked. But it’s going to be good, it’s going to be Shonda.

Credit: Photo courtesy of Lydia Gonzales

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