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The fictional interracial and extramarital relationship between Olivia Pope (Kerry Washington) and President Fitzgerald Grant (Tony Goldwyn) on ABC’s hit TV show, “Scandal,” has elicited negative reactions from fans and critics alike. Since the two seem truly in love, the show invites you to root for their relationship to survive despite the fact that their steamy affair is immoral and could be detrimental to both their careers.

Much of the criticism of Olitz (as the couple is affectionately called) centers around the portrayal of black women on television. Kerry Washington is the first black actress to play a lead role in a primetime TV series in 38 years; it bothers critics for that role to portray a black woman engaging in a salacious, interracial affair.

Conversely, Kerry looks at the complexity of Olivia’s character as a sign of progress for the portray of black women on television. She tells Ebony Magazine in her cover story that hits newsstands on February 5th:

“In her professional life, she is so powerful and is this self-made woman…But in [Olivia’s] personal life, she is a mess and I kind of love that…I love that I get to embody all of that complexity because I also think it takes a certain level of progress for us to have a Black Woman that powerful be an emotional mess on television.”

In a way, Olivia Pope’s character conveys that black women aren’t the one-note untouchable pillar of strength that we’re often made out to be. Perhaps her emotional vulnerability and nakedness shows that we’re not a monolith and that we’re just as complex and layered as anyone else.

What do you think of Kerry Washington’s comments, Clutchettes?

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22 Comments

  1. Here we go again

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  2. LolaChi

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

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  3. They’re two people deeply in love. Just leave it at that. All the rest of the garbage you bring up just doesn’t matter.

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  4. WhatIThink

    Can’t be shocked that a black actress is promoting non married sex or non married sex with a white male. It isn’t progress. It is the same B.S. that has gotten the black community into the not so envious position of having the majority of their children out of wedlock and the majority of the households being single parent black female households. And trust me a lot of these babies are babies from interracial relationships or marriages.

    Black women need to stop trying to follow the white woman’s manifesto on sexual liberation. It does not work for black women because the social and economic dynamic is totally different. While white women can promote sex in the city and Girls as liberating and progressive, black women can not. Why? Because white society is not plagued by an epidemic of single mothers and illegitimate children. For some reason, white women now how to handle their sexuality with responsibility, whereas black women do not. Trying to imitate white society is precisely the problem. Slutty behavior is slutty behavior whether it be male or female sluts. Upholding being slutty is not progress.

    And this is why young black females should definitely not be having entertainers as role models. Having sex with powerful white men does not make black women more powerful and the idea that it does is downright retarded. But unfortunately it is precisely the kind of mindset of many black female entertainers going back many years and it has not brought them any real power or wealth. You don’t measure power by the ability to sleep with powerful white men, because if that was the measure then Sally Hemming was one of the most powerful women in America and we know she was not.

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  5. Blah Blah Blah… a few black women here and there dating out isn’t the real issue, the REAL issue is some of ya’ll are downright TERRIFIED about a critical number of black women taking their resources and walking right out of the door.

    And BTW, anyone who’s ever taught, done social work, or has two working eyes is well aware that the fathers of all of these out of wedlock children sure aren’t named Hunter, Evan, or Tyler.

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    • how does a discussion about scandal, a f-ing tv show, turn into a black woman attack? the majority of out-of-wedlock kids are white, dumbass.

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