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Madam Secretary: Sara Ramirez previews her return to TV

Madam Secretary: Sara Ramirez previews her return to TV

After a year-and-a-half hiatus since exiting Grey’s Anatomy, Sara Ramirez will make her triumphant return to TV during Sunday’s episode of Madam Secretary.

The actress will be playing Kat Sandoval, a brilliant political strategist, legendary in D.C. for her talent and for abruptly dropping out of politics until Secretary of State Elizabeth McCord (Téa Leoni) manages to coax her back into the State Department. It’s a character that the openly bisexual Ramirez can relate to, having taken time off to both discover herself and give a voice to the LGBTQ community. So what was it about Madam Secretary that lured Ramirez back to TV? EW turned to the actress to find out:

ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: What was it about Madam Secretary that made you want to return to TV in a series regular role?
SARA RAMIREZ: A new position was opening up on Madam Secretary, and it was during a time when I was open to taking a meeting. [Executive producers] Barbara Hall and Lori McCreary were consistent and persistent in their commitment to meeting with me. We wanted to get to know each other to see what was possible. I really appreciate the kind of show that Madam Secretary is; it’s an aspirational and political show, and I found that really attractive as well.

Tell us about Kat Sandoval and what brings her into Elizabeth’s orbit.
SARA RAMIREZ: Something that I can say about Kat is that she is a political strategist. She’s a retired chief of staff to the U.N. ambassador, she’s known well in D.C. for her talents, she’s also know for her sudden departure from politics following an incident. She dropped out for years, and rumors circulate about why. But after Kat consults on a State Department problem, she realizes she has not entirely lost faith in the system, and she’s inspired by Elizabeth McCord, Madam Secretary, and her team — so much so that she proposes to join the State Department. When we first meet Kat, we learn a little bit about her past, and it clues us to the potential challenges she may face due to rumors around an incident that may have led her to leave politics. Her brain is one of her most valuable assets. In this first episode, we’ll see just how valuable it is, here at home and globally. This episode also shows up some vulnerable truths she’s never owned or expressed about herself before.

Will the show explore her sexuality?
SARA RAMIREZ: I just met Kat a few months ago, and I’m really looking forward to getting to know her as these episodes unfold.

Do you share any similarities with the character?
SARA RAMIREZ: One thing that I know that we have in common is we both took a step back from our respective fields for over a year. I understand how important it can be to acknowledge when a break is needed, for whatever reason, especially when the intention is to come home to oneself in ways that couldn’t occur authentically without that time away. So I really respect Kat for knowing and valuing herself enough to make that move in her life.

How is this working experience, both in front of the camera and behind, different from Grey’s?
SARA RAMIREZ: One of the things that I like about Madam Secretary is that, like I said, it’s an aspirational and political show. It takes place one election cycle in the future, which is kind of exciting, so it’s about four to five years down the line. I really love how it dramatizes certain topical world issues and events. It utilizes its projections to normalize inspiring ways to evolve challenging issues in the world through an alternate reality where the current political situation actually doesn’t exist, and with inclusive characters and cast and crew, off-screen as well. It promotes complex, three-dimensional women. Barbara Hall and Lori McCreary are executive producers, five out of the eight writers on the staff are female, the set has inclusive representation on screen and off, more than 70 percent of the show’s directors this season are women or men from diverse backgrounds, the Secretary of State is played by Téa Leoni — this show is in some ways similar, and different in all these ways.

After the results of the election last week, inclusive politics is not necessarily a distant aspiration anymore, but attainable, which is really exciting. We just saw Andrea Jenkins, the first openly bisexual and transgender black woman be elected to public office in the U.S. My intention for Madam Secretary’s Kat Sandoval is to continue normalizing, strengthening, and celebrating these types of inclusive outcomes in the world. As far as the character is concerned, I’m still getting to know her, but so far she’s different in that she spent a good portion of her life in politics before stepping away from it. Kat is very intentional and clear in her approach, because she knows she’s capable. She’s outspoken and unapologetically herself.

Is it fun to change up your style now on-screen and not have to suit up every day in scrubs?
SARA RAMIREZ: It’s been a really wonderful experience. Amy Roth, who is the head of the wardrobe department, has been so gracious, kind, and imaginative. I’m just really grateful to be working with her as well. It’s been really fun.

What have you been up to since leaving Grey’s, and what do you think you’ve learned during that time?
SARA RAMIREZ: It has been a really full year and a half. Taking a step back from the industry has allowed me to take space and get even more clear about things that are important to me. Coming out publicly was an organic decision and one that I spent a lot of energy and time making. It was incremental, not a spur-of-the-moment decision. By the time the Orlando shooting happened, especially in the context of the political climate escalating, I felt an urgency around coming out publicly in ways that I haven’t felt before. This past year and a half has taught me how to embrace myself fully, to never ever be afraid to claim my truth and power in spaces, and that bisexual, pansexual, queer-identified women of color, of all genders, or no genders, deserve to exist fully and equally in any and every space with respect to our visibility, representation, dignity, and various intersecting identities.

It has been a really full year. There were a lot of important events that I got the opportunity to be a part of. There was the ACLU rally in Austin, Texas. Initially, when Gavin Grimm’s case was headed to the Supreme Court, it was really important to me to use my public platform to show up and stand in solidarity with the trans and non-binary community, and when Gavin’s case didn’t make it to the Supreme Court, I got a phone call from the ACLU asking if I was open to participating in a rally in Austin connected to the same hurtful anti-trans legislation. I leapt at the opportunity to not only speak to these important issues, but to also engage local and state legislature. As well as introducing a trans woman of color, I introduced a wonder woman named Ana Andrea Molina, so that was a really important event to be a part of.

Then I was asked to speak at the Equality March in June, and I’m so grateful to the committee of the Equality March in D.C. for giving me the opportunity to speak to issues that are rarely spoken in mainstream LGBTQ advocacy. I was able to speak to the need for a truly intersectional movement, one in which we draw the margins in and center the lives of bisexual, queer, trans, non-binary, disabled, and other communities within our LGBTQ family who lack the access, power, and visibility. So as we move forward the community through the onslaught of anti-LGBTQ legislation and attacks, I think it’s important for us to continue to use these intersectional lines and center these communities, and that Equality March was a really beautiful way to be able to speak to that.

Then there was the LGBT Center in New York, who awarded me with this beautiful Trailblazer Award not that long ago, and that was a really special moment for me. Accepting the Trailblazer Award from the New York LGBT Center was — how else can I describe it? — it was a full-circle moment for me, actually. It was almost a year to the date, actually, from when I publicly came out as bisexual queer at the True Colors Fund event at the L.A. LGBT Center, so that was interesting. Lately, I’m feeling more confident about my purpose and highlighting the issues that are plaguing my community as well as continuing to create solidarity within the LGBT community. You know what else I’m thrilled about? Glenda Testone, who is the executive director of the New York LGBT Center, has expressed her commitment to creating specific bisexual programming, so that was a really wonderful full-circle moment after taking this time.

In hindsight, for everything you’ve done for yourself and the community over the last year, do you feel like it was the right decision to leave Grey’s when you did?
SARA RAMIREZ: Absolutely.

You voiced displeasure with ABC over the Real O’Neals bisexuality joke, which many Grey’s fans took as a sign you probably wouldn’t return to the show. Would you ever consider returning to Grey’s Anatomy?
SARA RAMIREZ: First I’ll speak to the Real O’Neals portion, and then I’ll speak to the other portion. I was really disappointed that a show on a network that I worked on for over 10 years, playing a bisexual character, would get the greenlight for such a hurtful and destructive comment about our community. The bigger disappointment was that this particular episode was set up to succeed in every way by having PFLAG involved, with a gay actor playing a gay character, in all these ways where all of our community would be protected in every way. However, I appreciate how PFLAG acknowledged the issue and owned their mistake, and so far that is the only party involved taking genuine accountability. To the other point, when Shonda [Rhimes] and I last spoke, we agreed to keep the conversations going, and she knows I’m open to keeping those conversations going.

Madam Secretary airs Sundays at 10 p.m. ET on CBS.

Source: Entertainment Weekly

Sara Ramirez criticizes ABC over ‘biphobia’ in Real O’Neals episode

Actress Sara Ramirez, known for her 10-year run on the ABC medical drama Grey’s Anatomy, is calling out her old network over a joke about bisexual people that she found offensive in a recent episode of The Real O’Neals.

Ramirez, who identifies as bisexual and played a bisexual character on Grey’s, tweeted Thursday that she was “truly disheartened and disappointed” by the joke, adding, “I will invest my brand where I’m respected.”

On the Jan. 17 episode of Real O’Neals, Noah Galvin’s openly gay character, Kenny, compared being bisexual to having “webbed toes” or “money problems.”

Today Ramirez tweeted a link to a Change.org petition imploring ABC to “end biphobia and bi-erasure” on the sitcom. “Words matter,” Ramirez wrote. In a subsequent tweet, she asked the network and show to “own” and “address” the joke, and to “empower our #Queer and #Bisexual youth & community w/accurate positive reflections.”

Ramirez also retweeted a Jan. 18 statement from the LGBTQ advocacy group PFLAG, which partnered on the episode in question. “We were so focused on the family acceptance portion of the episode that we completely missed the joke,” the statement said. “In hindsight, we should have caught it and we blew it. We should have done better and we will definitely do better next time. As allies we have a responsibility to own it when we mess up.”

Galvin also addressed the joke last month on Twitter, writing that the show “respects and loves the bi community,” and that the joke represented “a panicky teen expressing his ‘deepest fear’ which was his boyfriend leaving him for a girl.” He added, “I am sorry if we offended anyone. I hope you know our show fights for visibility and inclusivity and we will do better in the future. BUT, we also have to remember, it’s a comedy.”

ABC declined to comment on Ramirez’s criticism.

The Real O’Neals previously found itself at the center of controversy last year when Galvin gave an interview in which he disparaged Eric Stonestreet’s portrayal of a gay man on Modern Family, derided Arrow actor Colton Haynes’ decision to publicly come out as gay, and made “false and unwarranted” allegations about director Bryan Singer. Galvin publicly apologized for his remarks.

Source: http://ew.com/tv/2017/02/16/sara-ramirez-abc-real-oneals-biphobia/

Ask Ausiello: Spoilers on Grey’s Anatomy

Question: Please tell me we haven’t see the last of Penny on Grey’s Anatomy. She became my favorite this season.
Ausiello: Seeing as how she and Callie are sort of a package deal, I can confirm that we’ve seen the last of Penny. For now, anyway. Shonda Rhimes left the door wide open for Sara Ramirez to make the occasional guest appearance as Callie shuttles Sophia back and forth between New York and Seattle, and I suppose Penny — and her portrayer Samantha Sloyan — could tag along on one of those trips. I wouldn’t hold my breath, though.

Source: TV Line

‘Grey’s Anatomy’s’ Shonda Rhimes: I Had a “Different Plan” for Callie Before Sara Ramirez’s Departure

“I found out maybe three days before you guys found out,” Rhimes said of Ramirez’s sudden exit.

Grey’s Anatomy showrunner Shonda Rhimes was just as shocked to hear about Sara Ramirez leaving the show as the rest of the world.

At Vulture Festival in New York City on Sunday, Rhimes revealed that she “found out maybe three days” before Ramirez tweeted news of her departure after 10 years on the hit medical drama.

“This one was interesting. It was different because it wasn’t a big, planned thing,” Rhimes explains. “I had a different plan going and when Sara came and said, ‘I really need to take this break,’ it was sort of lucky that we had shot the end of the season with her going to New York.”

Adding, “I felt really good that we had shot that ending and that she said she wanted to take this break and we were able to give it to her because I love the woman and I want to do everything for her. It all worked out in that sense.”

Rhimes also took a moment to look back at other departures, like Patrick Dempsey’s (Derek Shepherd) at the end of season 11.

“For Patrick, people make such a nasty deal of that whole thing and I’m like, ‘Why?’” Rhimes questions. “I think people want a story on the outside that doesn’t have to do with anything on the inside. That was a lot of seasons.”

Ultimately, Rhimes is understanding of actors’ need to move on, and she reflected on keeping Sandra Oh (Cristina Yang) around for a decade.

“You never want to see anybody go — you want them to be there forever. I find it fascinating that people are shocked that people are exiting. Think about this: most shows go for four seasons? The number of dramas that have gone for four seasons is under 50, and we’re heading into season 13,” Rhimes says. “The idea that Sandra did it for 10 seasons and then was ready to go was amazing. I kept waiting. Season six, season seven, season eight, I was like, ‘Sandra, are you good?’ Because I know what that is for an actor. You grow and change and then you itch for something new … you have to be really respectful of that.”

As for how long Grey’s Anatomy will last, Rhimes re-iterated that without star Ellen Pompeo, there is no show.

“I’m always surprised when Ellen is ready to re-up,” she admits. “Our pact is that we will go together. When she goes, I go.”

Source: Hollywood Reporter

Articles on Sara taking time off from Grey’s Anatomy

Every news site is posting about Sara taking time off from Grey’s Anatomy, and they are all reposting her tweet and Shonda Rhimes tweet about it. So I though I would just put the links to many of the articles in one post, and make a new post when there is more being said about it.

Sara Ramirez Is Really Leaving Grey’s Anatomy and We Are Devastated
E! Online

‘Grey’s Anatomy’ Shocker: Star Exits After 10-Year Run
Hollywood Reporter

Sara Ramirez Confirms Grey’s Anatomy Departure: ‘I’m Taking Some Time Off’
TV Line

Sara Ramirez Confirms Grey’s Anatomy Departure: ‘I’m Taking Some Time Off’
Huffington Post

Grey’s Anatomy: Sara Ramirez exits after 10 years
Entertaintment Weekly

Sara Ramirez Exits ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ After 10 Seasons
Deadline

Grey’s Anatomy’s Sara Ramirez Exits After 10 Seasons
People

Sara Ramirez Leaving ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ After More Than 10 Years
Variety

Sara Ramirez confirms she is leaving Grey’s Anatomy after 10 years of playing Dr. Callie Torres
Daily Mail

‘Grey’s Anatomy’ Finale: Sara Ramirez and Shonda Rhimes Sound Off
ABC News

Sara Ramirez Officially Exits Grey’s Anatomy
TV Guide

‘Grey’s Anatomy’: Sara Ramirez Confirms Exit From Series After 11 Seasons
Hollywood Life

Sara Ramirez Confirms ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ Departure: ‘I’m Taking Some Time Off’
Yahoo TV

Grey’s Anatomy Star Sara Ramirez Is Leaving After 10 Seasons!
Perez Hilton

Sara Ramirez Is Leaving Grey’s Anatomy After 10 Years
Popsugar

Sara Ramirez to Exit ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ After 10 Seasons
The Wrap

Sara Ramirez Says Goodbye to ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ After Ten Years
Just Jared

Sara Ramirez Exits ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ With Season 12 Finale
People’s Choice

Grey’s Anatomy: Sara Ramirez Exits After 10 Seasons
TV Fanatic

Ask Ausiello: Spoilers on Grey’s Anatomy

Question: Are we going to find out if Owen’s sister is alive on Grey’s Anatomy before the end of the season?
Ausiello: “I can’t confirm or deny that,” hedged Martin Henderson (Nathan) when we asked him exactly that question, before teasing, “But let’s just say more information comes out in the [May 12] episode that sheds some light on that.”

Question: Do you have any intel about what’s next for Owen and Amelia on Grey’s Anatomy?
Ausiello: Viewers tired of the couple’s break-ups weren’t the only ones happy about the commitment that they made to one another last week. Kevin McKidd, who plays Dr. Hunt, was pretty pleased, too. “I think [this moment] has been in the cards for a long time,” he says. “Even though it’s been very on-again/off-again with them, they obviously have this connection. Everything pointed to them being together.” And now that they are, “they’re in kind of a honeymoon period,” finally, he adds, “enjoying each other.”

Question: How many categories/slots on your May Sweeps Scorecard does Grey‘s Anatomy take up?
Ausiello: About a half-dozen or so. And at least one of them involves Meredith.

Question: Any word on Sara Ramirez’s contract negotiations on Grey’s?
Ausiello: The ball is in Ramirez’s court. If she does opt not to sign on for Season 13, I think there’s a decent chance she’ll return in the fall for an episode or two to bring closure to Callie’s storyline.

Source: TV Line

Grey’s Anatomy stars are seeking raises again

How’s this for timing: Just as Grey’s Anatomy prepares to wrap its 12th season as ABC’s No. 1 drama, contracts for several of the show’s stars, including Ellen Pompeo, are set to expire in June.

The Shondaland crown jewel is not only besting its younger siblings Scandal and How to Get Away with Murder in the ratings, it’s also the second-most-popular drama on broadcast TV among women 18–34 (behind Fox hit Empire). That has to be great news for agents representing Pompeo (Meredith), Chandra Wilson (Bailey), Sara Ramirez (Callie), Kevin McKidd (Owen), Justin Chambers (Alex) and James Pickens, Jr. (Richard), all of whom will likely use the show’s stellar performance to push for higher salaries.

When asked about the contract negotiations, a spokesperson for ABC declined to comment. But Ramirez let it be known that her future may be in play when she recently tweeted this cryptic message: “That’s a wrap for Doctor #CallieTorrries #Season13 #GreyAnatomy,” she wrote last week. “Thank you all for an enriching & unforgettable #rollercoaster ride!” That could be bargaining tactic, or Ramirez’s idea of (teasing) fun. Two years ago, she tweeted a similar message that read, “Dear @shondarhimes & all who make #GreysAnatomy @GreysABC, it’s been a a roller coaster ride & an honor! Thank [you] all! #SeasonX #SeasonZen.”

In 2014, Pompeo and her fellow cast members, like Ramirez, Chambers, Wilson and Pickens, negotiated new deals that would keep them on the show through this month. At that time, Patrick Dempsey signed one too. But Dempsey never made it to season 12: in April of last year, executive producer Shonda Rhimes killed off his character, Derek Shepherd (aka McDreamy), leaving MerDer fans to immediately predicted an abrupt end for the show. But Grey’s went on to enjoy a creative and ratings renaissance in its 12th season: If you combine the drama’s ratings with how well it does on platforms like video on demand and online viewing, Grey’s is actually up 6 percent this season versus last among adults 18–49 and has seen an increase of 11 percent among women 18–34.

“There was some anxiety,” ABC Studios head Patrick Moran tells EW. “I give Shonda Rhimes and her creative team enormous credit for deftly figuring out tonally how to move Meredith forward.”

What’s more, Grey’s Anatomy continues to lure new viewers: ABC reports viewership of the pilot has more than doubled over the past five years as younger viewers catch up with the drama. In addition, 57 percent of Grey’s online viewers are adults 18-34, while 38 percent of viewers who streamed the show over summer 2015 went on to watch the series on ABC last fall.

And everyone seems to be talking about Grey’s these days: ABC also reports that the drama is having its most social season to date. That’s probably why Pompeo joked on the April 25 episode of The Ellen DeGeneres Show that while she and her castmates miss Dempsey, “it’s amazing how much you get done without a penis.” McSaucy!

Source: Entertainment Weekly

Grey’s Anatomy’s Kevin McKidd: Arizona’s Bad Day in Court, Trouble for Callie and Penny, and a Finale ‘Payoff’

n one sense, Thursday’s Grey’s Anatomy (8/7c, ABC) will feel less like a regular episode of the series that we all know and love, and more like a standalone movie, says Kevin McKidd, who not only plays Owen but directed the hour. “Since most of it takes place in the courthouse, it’s kind of like a really wonderful courtroom drama, like Kramer vs. Kramer.”

In another sense, “Mama Tried” will probably feel a whole lot like classic Grey’s, since the stakes are as high as they’ve ever been in the OR. As McKidd notes, in fighting for custody of daughter Sofia, “Callie and Arizona are fighting for their lives, in a sense.” Here, he previews for TVLine “the very emotional and heart-wrenching” installment that will decide the fates of Sofia and her mothers… and possibly Penny, too.

TVLINE | What was the mood on the set like while working on this episode?
Intense. It was intense to shoot, and I think it’s going to be really intense to watch. I think people are going to really respond to it. It’s very emotional, very powerful. I mean, to fight over the custody of a child, for a parent, is probably one of the most [difficult] things they could have to do. Plus, the audience loves Callie. The audience loves Arizona. We want them both to be okay.

TVLINE | And obviously, they can’t both come out of this okay. Even their friends can’t, right?
Yeah, that’s the hard thing for all [the rest] of our characters. We’re all asked to give testimony for the person we believe should have custody. It’s really tough when you have to pick a side like that, and that’s part of the reason why it’s such an intense episode. Everybody gets cross-examined, and some people do better under that pressure than others. It really puts Callie and Penny’s relationship to the test when Penny testifies, and affects their relationship going forward in a big way. The testimony that Penny gives… she does her best for Callie, but it doesn’t go as planned, and that causes problems.

TVLINE | Is there ever a moment when Callie and Arizona are like, “What are we doing? Let’s work this out”?
They do try to connect at a certain point, but the lawyers get in there and do their lawyering thing and cause damage, so [the ex-wives’] interaction is very charged. There are a lot of hurt feelings. They try to stay civil, but it’s hard when things get thrown at you by a lawyer. Arizona especially, I think, really feels hard done in the courtroom.

TVLINE | Is there any sign, any hint at all, of the love that they used to feel for each other?
There is. They both in a way come to a point where they can acknowledge the relationship that existed. In spite of the hurt feelings, they try to reach a higher ground and respect the [past]. But it’s hard when there are hurt feelings in the heat of the moment to really follow through on that.

TVLINE | And when the heat of the moment has cooled?
After this episode, the aftermath plays out in a really interesting way in the lead-up to the finale. It gets pretty hairy in this episode. There is animosity. It’s not all fluffy and pretty and nice. There are really intense, complicated emotions flying around. But there’s a really beautiful payoff in the finale connected to this.
So, who are you hoping will wind up with custody of Sofia? And do you think Callie and Penny’s relationship can bounce back? Hit the comments!

Source: TV Line

TV Line: Did Sara Ramirez Just Announce Her Departure?

Is Grey’s Anatomy is about to weather another major cast shakeup?
On Wednesday afternoon, Sara Ramirez — who has played Callie Torres for more than a decade — posted a message on Twitter that has fans wondering if she’ll be returning for the ABC drama’s recently-ordered 13th season.

It’s entirely possible Ramirez was simply celebrating her final day of work on Season 12 (Grey’s is currently in production on its May 19 season finale). It’s also possible the actress — whose contract is set to expire in June — was looking to increase her negotiations leverage. And then there’s the possibility that she has, in fact, decided to call it quits.

In a possibly telling sign, Ramirez’s personal reps have not responded to TVLine’s multiple requests for comment. An ABC rep, meanwhile, did get back to us, but declined to comment on the matter.

If Ramirez does opt to hang up her scrubs, this would mark the third major Grey’s exit in as many seasons, following the departures of Sandra Oh (in Season 10) and Patrick Dempsey (in Season 11).

Ramirez, who joined Grey’s in its second season, is one of several longtime cast members whose contracts are set to expire at season’s end. Her longtime scene partner Jessica Capshaw, however, is not one of them. As TVLine exclusively reported, Capshaw inked a new three-year deal with the show last May.
On-screen, Ramirez’s Callie is gearing up for a heated custody battle with Capshaw’s Arizona, one triggered by Callie’s desire to follow current squeeze Penny to New York with her and ‘Zona’s daughter.

Source: TV Line

JustJared: Is Sara Ramirez Leaving ‘Grey’s Anatomy’? See Her Cryptic Tweet

JustJared just posted this on there site.

justjared_sara

Source: JustJared

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