If you want to work for Shonda Rhimes, there’s one important thing to know: don’t be a jerk.
The policy is one Rhimes implemented on the set of her Kerry Washington-led drama after weathering some scandals of her own in the early years of Grey’s.
“I learned a lot of stuff,” Rhimes says of dealing with the controversy of former Grey’s actor Isaiah Washington‘s use of a gay slur as well as the drama involving Katherine Heigl, who left the hit ABC show in 2010 after months of dramatic headlines.
“There are no Heigls in this situation,” Rhimes says of the Scandal cast, which actress Katie Lowes has described to PEOPLE as “a family.”
And it seems the “family” couldn t ask for a better mother figure.
“She has such a great ability to lead all of us in a supportive loving way. She is an advocate for us,” Lowes says of Rhimes, who is also the executive producer of How to Get Away with Murder. “[Scandal] is the best place I’ve ever worked in my life.”
• With reporting by MATTHEW COLE WEISS