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Shonda Rhimes to be presented with BAFTA Special Award

14 April 2023

Los Angeles, April 14, 2023: BAFTA is pleased to announce that Shonda Rhimes has been selected as recipient of a BAFTA Special Award, to be celebrated during an exclusive tribute event in New York City on May 3, 2023.

Shonda Rhimes is an award-winning television creator, producer and author, as well as the CEO of the global media company, Shondaland. Rhimes is the first woman to create three television dramas - “Grey’s Anatomy,” “Private Practice” and “Scandal” - that have achieved the 100 episode milestone. She is also the executive producer of the hit ABC series "How To Get Away with Murder.”  In 2017, Rhimes shifted the entertainment industry’s business model when she left network television for an unprecedented agreement for Shondaland to exclusively produce streaming content in partnership with Netflix. “Bridgerton,” Shondaland’s first scripted series with the streamer, has become a worldwide franchise with seasons 1 and 2 of the show holding top spots among English language programming for Netflix. On May 4th the “Bridgerton” world expands with the launch of the prequel series "Queen Charlotte: A Bridgerton Story," which was created and executive produced by Rhimes.  In addition, Rhimes scripted the limited series “Inventing Anna” based on the popular New York Magazine article about the fake German heiress, Anna Delvey and is also the executive producer of “Dance Dreams: Hot Chocolate Nutcracker,” a documentary highlighting the dance school created by legendary choreographer Debbie Allen.

We are honored to be presenting a BAFTA mask to such a deeply respected and admired artist. Shonda’s trailblazing work has captured our hearts and inspired audiences around the world. As a groundbreaking producer, showrunner and writer, her impact on the landscape of modern global television is simply unparalleled,” said Kathryn Busby, Chair of the BAFTA North America Board.

The award will be celebrated during a special evening that will feature an intimate fireside chat and cocktail reception, for an invited industry audience. The prestigious event also marks the return of BAFTA’s in-person award presentations in North America.

Rhimes broadened her company’s content landscape when she launched the culture website in partnership with Hearst Digital Media and Shondaland Audio in partnership with iHeart Radio to produce podcast content. She is a New York Times bestselling author for her memoir “Year of Yes” and has built multi-platform partnerships with such leading brands as Dove, St. John, MasterClass, Microsoft and Mattel. Rhimes has three times been included in the TIME 100 list of most influential people and her work has been celebrated with numerous awards including induction into the Television Academy Hall of Fame.

Shonda has built the foundation and platform to launch global careers and has created the opportunity for new voices and talents to thrive in this industry. She has raised the bar, set the standard, and it is simply impossible to think of a Television industry without her creative force, talent, and vision behind it,” said Krishnendu Majumdar, BAFTA Chair.

BAFTA has had a presence in the U.S. since the formation of BAFTA Los Angeles in 1987, followed by BAFTA New York in 1996. Now, with almost 2,000 members in North America, activities include its extensive Screenings and Q&A program, Tea Parties, BAFTA Breakthrough USA, the Yugo BAFTA Student Awards, the U.S. Newcomers Program, Scholarships, and the Vance Byrd Mentorship program.

Notes to Editors:

  • BAFTA Special Awards are honorary awards presented to those who have made a significant, inspiring, and outstanding contribution to film, games and television through a particular project(s) and/or their work.
  • From 2022 the process through which BAFTA’s honorary awards are selected has been expanded with the introduction of a Global Selection Co-ordinating Committee – made up of representatives from the U.K., North America, and from BAFTA’s relevant sector committees (film, games, television). Members also have the opportunity to suggest recipients and all individuals proposed by members are reviewed and considered by the relevant sector committee on a rolling basis throughout the year.

For further information:

Caroline Stegner at R&CPMK
[email protected]


BAFTA – the British Academy of Film and Television Arts - is a world-leading independent arts charity that brings the very best work in film, games and television to public attention and supports the growth of creative talent in the UK and internationally. Through its Awards ceremonies and year-round programme of learning events and initiatives – which includes workshops, masterclasses, scholarships, lectures and mentoring schemes in the UK, USA and Asia – BAFTA identifies and celebrates excellence, discovers, inspires and nurtures new talent, and enables learning and creative collaboration. For more, visit BAFTA is a registered charity (no. 216726).