scandal

After calculating the results of a completely random, unscientific, social media poll, I have come to the conclusion that 76.21 percent of black men do not like Scandal.

To the 23.79 percent of black men imbued with discernment and the ability to parse creative, political and societal nuance, “Thank you.” And I’m counting down the days with you until next Thursday, which is hereby renamed Scandal.

That’s right: Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Scandal, Friday and Saturday.

In all seriousness, I brushed aside the occasional acerbic comments that would come across my Facebook timeline and Twitter feed. The Sally Hemings and Thomas Jefferson jokes that black female Scandal watchers would nervously bat away, secretly wondering if their black, male friends were laughing with them or at them didn’t even give me pause because I’ve long come to the conclusion that when it comes to inter-racial relationships, there are some black men who hold themselves to a different, hypocritical standard.

While their brethren, and themselves, are free to pursue and fetishize about any Sue, Becky and Kimmy that crosses their path — because black women are so demanding, fat, lazy, unsupportive [insert derogatory label here] — any sister who isn’t beating a drum in Leimert Park with dreads down her back or a TWA (Teeny-weeny afro),  is a race traitor waiting to spread her legs for the massa.

Let them tell it.

I swiftly discard that exaggerated criticism because it is so obviously steeped in feelings of emasculation and instinctive powerlessness that it would take much longer than a sweep of social media to peel back all of the layers and address its core.

But these anti-Scandal black men are a wily bunch. Oh yes, they are. They realized that they couldn’t continue to post pictures of Kim Kardashian on Monday, quote little Wayne talking about “bet that bitch look better red” on Tuesday, break down all the reasons why white women stay “#winning” on Wednesday, then complain about a black woman being in love with a white man on Thursday.

So, what’s the new tactic? Slut-shaming.

Forget that President Fitzgerald Grant III is white, they proclaim all aflutter with their hands clasped to their heaving bosoms. It’s that he’s MARRIED!

scandal men hate

After decades of black women living in a culture of infidelity that is reflected on screen without fail, now all of a sudden –when it is a powerful, black woman involved in an affair that viewers experience from her perspective — we want to talk about marriage.

After years of Blaxploitation films that depicted women as nothing more than breasts and asses, we want to talk about marriage.

After countless music videos shot in strip clubs with rappers collecting  “hoes” like parking tickets, now we want to talk about marriage.

Black women who root for Fitz and Olivia, in all of their complicated, “If Loving You Is Wrong, I Don’t Want To Be Right” fierceness, should put ourselves in the place of the poor wife who is being disrespected in all of this and be ashamed for watching.

Spare me.

As my father used to say, “I might have been born at night, but it wasn’t last night,” so there is no way in hell that I’ll believe that concern for the institution of marriage and the negative portrayals of black women in the media is the reason why Scandal is such a sensitive subject for those black men for whom the show presents an issue.

It’s okay for “bandz to make her dance,” but sleep with a married man? Now, that’s just uncivilized.

^ See how silly that sounds?

Don’t get me wrong, if President Grant were black and Liv were white, black women would not flock to Scandal. I freely admit to that. It wouldn’t matter how empathetically and  compassionately their love was depicted. It. would. not. fly. Not in this life or the next. Those same deep, racial fissures that would turn some women away from that inverted plot are clearly causing resentment in some black men and that’s understandable. I get it.

I get that no one is allowed to objectify black women but them.

We could get into the details of the show and discuss just why exactly Olivia Pope is not being objectified. We could talk about the nucleus of power  — of which Olivia is at the forefront — and how the marriage in question is one of convenience and not truth. We could even discuss monogamy and why, if and should it be the standard of all relationships. But to delve into any of these things would be to fall for the distraction that Olivia’s affair with a married man is the real issue why some of these men are one step away from creating a petition on Change.org to boycott Shonda Rhimes — and we all know that it’s not.

This is about hyper-masculinity, patriarchy and possession. For once, a black woman is depicted on screen who is one self-reliant, skilled, bad-ass business-woman capable of making her own decisions based on choices independent of black male control — and she chose a white man.

More importantly, she chose love with all its drama attached — no racial qualifier needed. And attempting to slut-shame black, female viewers into turning the channel just proves that a lot of egos need to be adjusted for deflation.

For once, it’s not about you, sirs. And that’s okay, you’ll live. We’ve being doing it for years.

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538 Comments

  1. GlowBelle

    Your insecurity is showing.

    I mean, WHO GIVES A CRAP what Black men think about ‘Scandal’? Do some Black women really need that much affirmation/permission from Black men? I know I sure don’t. Not everybody is going to like something that you think the world of. That’s just life. Also stop assuming the reasons why someone doesn’t like something that you deem precious. Sometimes it’s not that deep. Also you bet your snuff that if the President Grant had a white wife while being Black, Black people would be watching. Who are you to predict what Black people do? What happened to the “Black people aren’t a monolith!!” we seem to be screaming so loud about? I don’t watch shows and movies just because “ooh look there is one…two…three Black people!”, I watch shows if their plot lines/characters interest me and maybe specific actors that I like that are in them. These basic trivial Black men you’re speaking of aren’t killing my joy of escapism when I’m watching ‘Scandal’, and they shouldn’t kill yours either, because who exactly are they? They aren’t paying my bills or taking me out for fancy dinners, so who gives a crap what they have to say about things I like/don’t like?

    I thought that’s what was the great thing about being GROWN…you don’t have to explain yourself to anybody and you can think and do the way you want to and not worry about what everyone else thinks of you. I’m sorry, but I left that childish crap back at the high school lunch table.

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    • dirtychai

      Geez, thank you. I was annoyed my this article, because it’s just a TV show that women and also many men that I know love to watch. Olivia Pope isn’t a real person. She’s not my super-sistah-homegirlfriend. She’s a television character, as with Fitzgerald Grant.
      Black women are not so lacking in role models that we have idealize a make-believe woman and defend her right to sleep with the make-believe president.

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    • binks

      “Black women are not so lacking in role models that we have idealized a make-believe woman and defend her right to sleep with the make-believe president.”

      BOOM! This said it all! Like I said before, why are we going harder than a hand basket to defend/condemn a fictional character? I hear people write and speak of her like she is a real person like both the trolls and crusaders need to calm it down a bit. Like if you want to give props to some of Olivia Pope’s characteristics and professional aspects if you like her and identify with her (not necessarily the sensationalize part of the show) than her name is Judy A. Smith who Olivia is loosely based off and inspired by and sista is FLY as hell! Let’s not put fictional characters on a pedestal and forget real black women role models.

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  2. K. Michel

    “After calculating the results of a completely random, unscientific, social media poll, I have come to the conclusion that 76.21 percent of black men do not like Scandal.”

    I don’t see why this is a problem. It’s not exactly a show that was made for them in mind.

    Can Kirsten West Savali even come up with three reasons why Black men should like “Scandal”, or give it a chance? I’d be impressed if she could. Otherwise, I can’t take her argument seriously because it’s not a show most Black men would be watching anyway …regardless of the interracial romance.

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  3. Mellie (the President’s wife had an affair, according to the now Vice-President at that time an opponent to Fitz. Wonder if it was with a black man!

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  4. MISS_EMCEE

    I blame clutch magazine for my weight gain. I’ve been eating chips, bluebell ice cream, and drinking juice while reading these comments lol. Now I have 2 chinz.

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    • leelah

      I know. I’ve been drunk all three day reading this mess. Nothing like a little sh&& talking with your cocktails. I’m going to go find this blueberry ice cream. I don’t think I’ve ever had that.

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  5. Shelly

    I am a black woman and I don’t watch this show because I am tired of black women being portrayed as sluts (and a slut is what I perceive a mistress to be). Also, I will admit, the fact that he is white bugs me, too. From what i’ve seen in the previews of Meagan Good’s new show, it looks like she will be involved with a white man, too. Why? It seems like if a black show is allowed on tv these days, there has to be at least a few stereotypes thrown in there (I guess to make the white audience happy). I wish I could, but I cannot support this show simply because the female lead is a “sucessful” black women.

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    • So, you would rather the character be dating a black man? Which would then make Scandal a black show? Which would then give it a strictly black audience? Which would then have it relegated to syndication on BET? Which would keep blacks out of network prime time? You folks have no clue how to be strategic. But Shonda does. She realises that if you have all blacks being the main characters, people are going to see it as a black show. But if she has a mix, then the black people in it are not seen as blacks but as merely people. And that’s why shondland is raceless. Just like white people are seen a people, not white people. they are the mainstream while every other race is othered. I wish American blacks would realise the importance of this. Obama and Oprah get it, which i why they are where they are. They don’t go around spouting black power. And in playing the game smartly, they achieved power as a black person in a racist society. Get it? I really wish black Americans would.

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    • I figured that out when I noticed how the white characters, were ‘stepping to’ Olivia Pope’s character every week.

      I thought, how/why is Pope’s character not putting these folk (consistently) in their place? Ex. The scene in ‘The Trail’, when ‘Pres. Grant’s character, screams/yells at Ms. Pope to get out ‘of the damn car!’. What? Then, it dawned on me…Strategy…

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    • The Other Jess

      No, you have no idea what it means to be strategic. The stupidest thing black people ever did was start quoting the lie that a black leading couple on TV makes it a ratings loser. it’s not the black couple that makes it a ratings loser, its that racists who think two black people in a relationship is enough to not watch and cancel a show!

      please remember that not very long ago, no black person, even as an individual man or woman, would have played lead roles, or even have existed on many TV shows simply because racists didn’t think anyone wanted to see a black man or a black woman on TV.

      If our parents could fight to make it acceptable to see black people in lead roles, then we can fight to make it acceptable to see black couples in lead roles. If two white people can lead a show that non-whites will watch, then a black coule can do the same. please miss me with that bogus and self-defeating attitude. it’s the most pathetic argument i have ever heard spring fortg from the mpuths of black people. what a losing attitude!

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