Kerry WashingtonIn this month’s EBONY with Kerry Washington on the cover, the actress says if the married president that her character is having a steamy affair with was black she would have passed on the role of Olivia Pope.

Excerpt from EBONY interview:

“I was a little concerned because [the character has] a scandalous relationship with the [occupant of the] White House,” the actress said. “I thought, ‘If the president on the show is Black, I will not do the show.’ Because to me, it was too important a moment. I didn’t want to do anything that compromised my relationship with the [president] or that made it seem like I had an insider view on the Obama presidency. I thought that would be so disrespectful and so against all the work that I had done.”

When I watched the first two episodes of Scandal, and the only ones I’ve ever watched, I actually asked myself two questions:

1) If the fictional president was black, would this show even be on tv? (probably not, way too much blackness)

2) If the fictional president was black, would she have taken on the role?

I’m not a fan of Scandal, I’d rather focus my tv watching attention on things that are more likely to happen in the world, like the zombie apocalypse by watching The Walking Dead. But I do appreciate the fact that Kerry didn’t want to besmirch her current “non-fictional” relationship with President Obama.

There are two types of Scandal people, those who hate it and those who obsess over it. Do I agree with Kerry’s character having an affair with the president? Not at all. But I also understand the difference between fiction, reality, and the big business of television.

What do you think about Kerry’s admission? Would it have made a difference if Scandal’s president was black?

  • http://www.myblackfriendsays.com myblackfriendsays

    There’s a third type of Scandal person: those who have no strong feelings about the show one way or the other. That’s me.

    I can see what she’s saying about if the President on the show was black. We’ve only had one black president and 40-something white presidents, so it would make sense that people would see a black guy and think, “Obama.” Perhaps when we’ve had 39 more black presidents, the association won’t be as strong.

  • http://gravatar.com/jswindell Nean

    Though I get her point, it seems like she has a preference for White men in her personal life. Her business but it seems like she’s anti-Black man unless he’s in a position of power.

  • Chillyroad

    I just started watching The Walking Dead. I had to work the next morning but I stayed up till 4am to watch the whole first season. Im feeling awful right but I couldn’t stop.

    AMC has the best shows on TV including Mad Men. Compared to those shows Scandal is a complete flop.

  • Chillyroad

    The fanatacism for this show whether pro or con is strange.

  • http://www.chanelrene.com Chanel Rene

    I agree with her wholeheartedly.
    The fact that he’s white just makes it that much more “scandalous”. She’s smart enough to know that viewers wouldn’t tune in if he were black.

  • Ask_ME

    Agreed. And after watching last night’s previews of the next episode it looks like Olivia is getting another white love interest.

  • LolaChi

    So the author would prefer to watch the one-dimensional, mean mugging Michonne with her few lines of dialogue over Olivia Pope? Understood.

  • http://gravatar.com/adornyou Andi

    I watch and love the show. I don’t love, like, or appreciate the glamourized affair storyline. Many people seem to root for it like soap opera fans, it straight p!$$&$ me off, that a black woman is super powerful to the point she can bed the married president if she wants to. Oh yeah, the black woman’s kitty kat is accepted and greatly desired as per the freakin usual even when she has way better things to do and fix. What I enjoy is the other peeks inside what actually may go down behind the scenes in Washington. It kinda floors me that more viewers don’t notice the voter tampering how-tos, people that go “missing”, and the way cronies and whoever get high ranking positions. Just like Lawrence O’Donnell consulted on the “West Wing” after serving under Clinton’s administration, Judy Smith being the real life Olivia should cause people to take a waaaay closer look at all the other story lines not the romantacized affair.

  • http://tatendarobyn.wordpress.com TatendaRobin

    I get how she is making it seem like it would be a disrespect to the Black president. However I think it’s her pretending to be race conscious, because she does not think how it disrespects the Black woman to be a mistress. How does being a mistress promote her ethnicity of her female counterparts. She should just have not said anything, than try to promote herself as an Obama fan.

  • Chillyroad

    Women aren’t into political dramas.

  • Ask_ME

    Kerry Washington is A BLACK WOMAN…she is NOT every black woman. It would be nice if people would stop looking to others to represent to entire race/gender. Kerry Washington playing a mistress is not a personal affront to me…a black woman.

  • Mixedgirl

    Yeah. Im not a fan of the affair. But the whole science behind the “fixer” . And the corruption! Lord. As much as i would like to pretend thats its fiction, you know its something that happens. Money. Power. Mote real then false.

  • Natalie

    Huh?

  • Andi

    I agree with you Tat, because she is looked at and applauded for her powerful role so the mistress thing is wrapped in like it’s ok cause lovelust conquers all. That’s some bull on and off the screen black white whotheheckever. I don’t believe in black shame when one of us does something wrong and we are all supposed to hang our heads, however I don’t hold her up as any role model and girl you betta get it crap. Anyways listening to her interview about not being the love interest but being the power role who has different love interests on Katie Couric, and now this if the President role was black then I wouldn’t do it, is all so contrived and headachey. There are actresses who wouldn’t take the role because of the mistress bit.

  • kenzy

    im sorry I’m having a moment forgive me its been a long week, is the author being serious or sarcastic in this sentence?? > “I’m not a fan of Scandal, I’d rather focus my tv watching attention on things that are more likely to happen in the world, like the zombie apocalypse by watching The Walking Dead.”
    if she is being serious, then ill say seriously?? zombies are more likely to happen than a president having an affair..

  • Nightwing

    Just like your fanaticism for Beyonce and bashing Black women on this site.

  • Whiteprivilegeterminated

    Funny, I’ve never heard Scandal mentioned anywhere but on this website, I think the anti-Scandal side of the Scandal “obsession” is mostly a figment in the imagination of its followers.

    They’ve convinced themselves that they’re part of something new and exotic, that Scandal dramatizes, allowing us a keyhole peek into a different kind of “empowered” black female experience.

    Social acceptance in high white places and a glamorous professional life in which the black woman calls all the shots, topped with the happy ending that the girl gets the guy she always wanted – right?

    Black girl finally gets white boy. :-)

    Certainly overturns the usual “woe is black woman” narrative.

    That’s enough content to trigger a severe case of persistent arousal syndrome
    and why most people, especially black men, wouldn’t dare get between a black woman her Scandal.

    LMAO!

  • Chillyroad

    Some of the stuff I have read….too many hopes and dreams are resting on what is a fictional character on a fictional show.

    To be fair, I went mental with Don Drapers character on Mad Men. I thought we were in a relationship during the first season. SMDH.

  • Chillyroad

    I also must add that the “woe is me black women” narrative is still important but only in relation to all things black ie black men, black community m, black children, black anything.

  • http://Www.mirthandcircumstance.com Danni

    It’s a a television show. People need to get a life and stop placing so much weight into something that is a fictional account of what probably goes down in Washington. If it’s not your reality why are you so offended. Kerry Washington is an artist playing a role on TV. I will admit her role as the first Black actress to lead prime time series in 35years is quite historic. But to place limitations on what she should represent is a direct contradiction of what artists like her stand for. I happen to be one of the Scandal obsessed, but I was also obsessed with 24, Lost and Sex and the City. all shows with a similar cult following. I didn’t own anything going on in those shows in my personal life no more than black women should own Oliva’s mistakes on Scandal. #itsentertainment

  • Joy

    Taten: How is Kerry playing a mistress disrespectful to blcak women? A MISTRESS is disrespectful….period

  • Joy

    Ask: Thank you so much for the common sense comments in response to Taten

  • Joy

    Preach Danni….Preach. You know you are right!!

  • http://Clutch SL

    @Danni

    Yes!

  • Kacey

    Check out “Breaking Bad” (another AMC show). Hands down, one of the best shows ever!!!

  • Chillyroad

    I will. I’ve been looking for shows to watch. I can only take in so many reruns of law and order and the golden girls.

  • Ask_ME

    No offense but your comment doesn’t make much sense. It’s all over the place.

    The bottom line for me is this: Olivia and Fitz are smoking HOT together!!! I watch the show because it is 1). Good 2). Entertaining and 3). Because Olivia and Fitz are hot and sexy.

    I don’t give a damn what the haters say. I probably wouldn’t watch this show if the president were black. Why? Because it wouldn’t have the same level of appeal to me.

    Like someone up above said, the show is scandalious because 1). She is sleeping with the president and 2). She is black, he is white. The taboo aspect of there relationship is GREAT to watch.

  • Chloe

    Thank you! My thoughts exactly. And yes, I happen to one of the Scandal obsessed and quite proud of it.

    :)

  • kelly

    amc has great shows fx has some hits as well, and im also a fan of golden girls

  • Mademoiselle

    That’s not fair. If she can be lauded for representing progress of black women on TV (as opposed to her success being hers alone to celebrate/take pride in), she can be criticized for the impact of her role on black women. Either the positives and the negatives reflect on black women, or neither do, but cherry picking is wrong.

  • http://tontonmichel.tumblr.com/ Tonton Michel

    Walking Dead and Break Bad are the truth. AMC definitely has it going on.

  • Ask_Me

    @Mademoiselle

    I think it’s more than fair.

    Kerry Washington is praised for doing what hasn’t been done in 40 years by a BLACK WOMAN: becoming the lead in a primetime network drama.

    She is not praised for the role itself. This is two very different issues.

  • amy03

    I understand where Kerry’s coming from. What I love about Scandal is that every character is flawed and we get to see how dirty politics can be. Things like election rigging and people disappearing do exist. Kerry Washington and Tony Goldwin have great chemistry but it’s not the only thing that makes me tune in. The writing and the actors are amazing. I’m not a fan of Grey’s Anatomy because to me, the show centers way too much around the characters’ love life.

  • Andi

    Ask I’m not concerned about appealing to whatever you personally find understandable. I feel a different way about the show and enjoy it for other reasons then the affair. This article opening the issue up about Kerry not taking the role if the president was black was a perfect opportunity to for me to say how I feel. That’s the point of asking for opinions to be shared in this here comment section, at least that’s what I thought but perhaps for some it’s about extreme devotion and random videos.

  • Fantastico

    Huh?

  • http://eboniboykin.policymic.com eboni

    I applaud her for her honesty. ‘Scandal’ wouldn’t be as scandalous as it is if the president were black anyway. Part of the scandal is their interracial(extra marital) relationship.

    And let’s not get too hung up on what she said because truth be told, if the president was black and Olivia Pope was a WHITE woman, everybody would have a fit– both white and black.

  • cb

    goodie

  • WhatIThink

    A black woman sleeping with a powerful white man does not equal a powerful black woman.

    Come on this nonsense needs to cease. Who the hell are these folks kidding?

    So what are we saying we are raising our young black females to be concubines for powerful white folks so they can have visions of being powerful? Really?

    NOT ONE black woman out of all the many black women who have been actual concubines and closet freaks of white men down through history has been powerful. And those who were smart, intelligent and aggressive in their own right were not made better off by being with whites.

    Anyone who doesn’t see this crap for what it is is retarded.

    What is power? And how does this woman have power? If she had real power she would be doing something to affect the lives of her people. That is power. But you wont see that on TV now will you? But these brain dead morons think power means telling other people what to do. Really? Only as long as you are working for that corporation and that so-called power does not extend outside of that organization. Real power means calling the shots in and outside of an organization and being able to use the resources, skills and ability to push an agenda without the need of other folks to “enable” you.

    This is nothing much more than propaganda and PR pushing love of white folks as empowerment for black women.

  • http://Clutch SL

    Disgusted – totally disgusted – by tonight’s episode. Can’t believe Shonda wrote this. OP comes across as nothing more than a white man’s bitch….damn. “Just because I can’t control my erection around you doesn’t mean that I want you”. Damn! That is laden with so much racial undertones you couldn’t ignore it if you tried. Damn!!!!!! And as if that wasn’t enough – she is acting like a naieve gullible school girl with the white captain who’s clearly got sinister motives for her. And she is supposed to represent a powerful women…a powerful BW. Omg! So thru with Scandal! Gotta find me something else to watch on Thursday nights. This sh!t is going to make me throw up.

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