"Um, people? Boo don't need a petition," Rhimes, 46, tweeted to her 1.25 million Twitter followers Sunday. "#shondalandrules."
Williams gave the speech during the recent BET awards. Giving an acceptance speech for the Humanitarian Award related to his activism in the Black Lives Matter movement, the father of two spoke of civil rights and cultural appropriation.
A woman named Erin Smith went on Change.org and created a petition to remove the 34-year-old from Grey's Anatomy, US Weekly reported.
"If this was a white person making the same speech about an African American," she continued, "they would have been fired and globally chastised, as they should be, but there has been no consequences to Williams' actions."
As of Tuesday morning, 5,445 people had signed Smith's petition.
Pernell Walker created a Change.org petition of his own, petitioning Rhimes to keep Williams on the show. As of Tuesday, it had received 5,870 signatures.
"I've said it before and I'll say it again: BET is keeping racism and segregation alive and this past Sunday's awards show proves it," Dash wrote in a blog post. "Particularly the speech given by Grey's Anatomy star Jesse Williams, whose tirade after receiving the 2016 BET Humanitarian Award for his black activism was nothing short of an attack on white people."
Williams responded with a tweet of his own, which Rhimes retweeted, saying it's best not to respond to people just looking for attention. "Do not promote empty people & their tantrums. Pure clickbait to gain followers, attention & money, for themselves, not you. Never you."
Do not promote empty people & their tantrums. Pure clickbait to gain followers, attention & money, for themselves, not you. Never you.— jesseWilliams. (@iJesseWilliams) July 3, 2016