The writer and producer is considered to be a trailbrazer for her works including Scandal, Grey's Anatomy, and How To Get Away With Murder which feature strong female characters.
But while accepting the honor, Rhimes humbly called into question the lack of diversity in television and pointed out that her work is nothing more than a reflection of reality.
"It's not trailblazing to write the world as it actually is," said Rhimes.
She also mentioned that she didn't create content solely based on what she wanted to see but also on "what I know to be normal."
"Basically, you are just giving me an award for being me, in which case I totally deserve this. Really, I am honored to receive it. The respect of this award does mean the world. It just makes me a little bit sad. First of all, [writing about] strong women and three-dimensional people of color is something Norman was doing 40 something years ago. So how come it has to be done all over again?"
According to People magazine Rhimes urged the playmakers of the industry to set a new standard for more diverse characters in television, noting the lack of portrayals of strong black women on screen beside those on her programs.
"What are we waiting for," asked Rhimes. "I mean, I know this is a room full of producers, so probably you're waiting for money. Clearly, money."
"I have, against no odds, courageously pioneered the art of writing for people of color as if they were human beings," she said jokingly. "I've bravely gone around just casting parts for actors who were the best ones. I fearlessly faced down ABC when they completely agreed with me that Olivia Pope should be black."
"See, the thing about all this trailblazing that everyone says I've been doing, it's not like I did things and then the studio or the network gasped with horror and fought me."
Rhimes even mentioned that she didn't hear "no" when pitching her characters.
The producer is even working on a new show for ABC that will be a continuation of one of Shakespeare's most popular plays Romeo & Juliet.
The show, is based on Melinda Taub's novel Still Star-Crossed, and, according to BET, will "carry on the tale of Capulet and Montague, focusing on the two families' continued feud following the death of Romeo and Juliet."