CINCINNATI -- Did Shonda Rhimes -- creator of ABC megahits "Scandal," "Grey's Anatomy," and "How To Get Away With Murder" -- just shade Mayor John Cranley specifically, or Cincinnati generally?
It came up in Thursday night's "Scandal" season finale. In case you don't watch, here's the backstory: Fictional term-limited President Fitzgerald Grant was getting ready to endorse his ex-wife, Mellie Grant, at the Republican National Convention.
After a very public divorce, Fitz supported Mellie's opponent, who also happened to be his vice president. But when Millie won the party's presidential nomination, Fitz had to get behind her. Then came this heated exchange:
"What can I possibly say about you on this stage that won't be endlessly scrutinized and analyzed and criticized, and that won't leave you lost in the process at the very moment you're supposed to shine? The best thing that I can do for you is to simply remind the American people of how I've led this country, how I've led this party, to burnish the Grant name. That's what I can do for you, so let me do that for you. You're treating me like an unpopular, first-term mayor of Cincinnati, Mellie. I am the two-term Republican president with massive political capital and a 59 percent approval rating."
So what, Cincinnati's supposed to be some kind of backwater? The line drew a quick response from Ohio Democratic Party Chairman David Pepper (who ran for mayor here in 2005, losing to Mark Mallory):
Not a flattering Cincinnati reference in Scandal. Boo!
— David Pepper (@DavidPepper) May 13, 2016
Then again, was it directed at Cranley, the city's current mayor (and in his first term, making the jab feel a bit more pointed)? We reached out to Cranley's office for comment.
— Andy Warner (@thesoccerdad1) May 13, 2016
— Sheila Taylor Clark (@staylorclark) May 13, 2016
Some thought it was actually about Jerry Springer, who once served as mayor after a sex scandal:
— Tammie Scott (@itsTScott) May 13, 2016
1st term Mayor of Cincinnati was that Jerry Springer shade #Scandal
— Metroplex Boomin (@soundwave803) May 13, 2016
Still, fans were split over whether to take the line as an insult or compliment:
— Tanya Goodwin (@tmgood1) May 13, 2016
— Kim B. (@autumnbaby76) May 13, 2016
— Ankho13er 9Eher (@Ankh_9Ether_COB) May 13, 2016
— Rachel (@rach_lindsey) May 13, 2016
Tell us what you think: