It’s that time of year at college campuses all around the
country, when graduations and commencement speeches take place.
And as always, notable persons from various fields, such as
show business, media and politics are asked to share with wide-eyed,
hopeful, young graduates facing an uncertain future, what they hope are pearls
of wisdom to help on their paths towards happiness and success.
Last week, mega TV producer Shonda Rhimes gave a commencement speech at her alma mater, Dartmouth College (1991 graduate), in New Hampshire, and
unwittingly found herself in a minor scandal.
In her speech, Rhimes critiqued what she called “Twitter
activism” that too many people indulge in nowadays, instead of actually going
out and doing something about whatever it is they are so outraged about.
a cause you love. It’s okay to just pick one. You are going to need to spend a
lot of time out in the real world trying to figure out how to stop being a lost
loser, so one cause is good. But find one. And devote some time every week to
it,” she told the students, adding, “And
while we are discussing this, let me say a thing. A hashtag is not helping… Hashtags
are very pretty on twitter. I love them. I will hashtag myself into next week.
But a hashtag is not a movement. A hashtag does not make you Dr. King. A
hashtag does not change anything. It’s a hashtag.”
Needless to say, immediately she was met by howls of
outrage by people upset that she made them feel bad, to which Rhimes has responded, stating that if anyone was upset then, well, that’s just too bad. She meant what she said, and that “hashtags
are amazing for raising awareness. But I was telling them to go beyond that and
more. To actively try to give back in a hands-on way.”
“If you were not receiving a degree from Dartmouth on
Sunday, I was not talking about you. I wasn’t even talking to you,” she added.
But check out her entire speech below to see what the fuss was all about.