Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...
Scientific Accuracy in Film - Neil deGrasse Tyson Reacts to Negative Reactions to His Reviews of Science Fiction Films Scientific Accuracy in Film - Neil deGrasse Tyson Reacts to Negative Reactions to His Reviews of Science Fiction Films 'Chocolate City' Finally Gets a Trailer + Release Date Set (Might It Steal Some of 'Magic Mike's' Summer Thunder?) 'Chocolate City' Finally Gets a Trailer + Release Date Set (Might It Steal Some of 'Magic Mike's' Summer Thunder?) Barbie Is Honoring Ava DuVernay (and Other "Sheroes") With Her Very Own Doll. Have a Look... Barbie Is Honoring Ava DuVernay (and Other "Sheroes") With Her Very Own Doll. Have a Look... BET Unveils 2015-2016 Slate Additions: New Original Scripted & Unscripted Series, Movies, News Specials & More BET Unveils 2015-2016 Slate Additions: New Original Scripted & Unscripted Series, Movies, News Specials & More Jada Pinkett Smith's Fish Mooney Will Return to 'Gotham' Streets with a New Look & Tougher Than Ever Jada Pinkett Smith's Fish Mooney Will Return to 'Gotham' Streets with a New Look & Tougher Than Ever Mo'Nique Presents Email Evidence That Shows She Was in Contention for the Role of Cookie in 'Empire' Mo'Nique Presents Email Evidence That Shows She Was in Contention for the Role of Cookie in 'Empire' Films & TV Series Coming to (and Leaving) Netflix's Streaming Library In May Films & TV Series Coming to (and Leaving) Netflix's Streaming Library In May James Earl Jones and Cicely Tyson Will Share a Stage Again in a Revival of 'The Gin Game' James Earl Jones and Cicely Tyson Will Share a Stage Again in a Revival of 'The Gin Game' Watch: Michael Jackson’s Movie Career Summed Up in 7 Minutes Watch: Michael Jackson’s Movie Career Summed Up in 7 Minutes Watch First Trailer for 'Desperate Housewives - Africa' + Individual Character Profiles Watch First Trailer for 'Desperate Housewives - Africa' + Individual Character Profiles Watch Trailer for Jordan Davis Documentary, '3 1/2 Minutes.' Coming to HBO This Fall Watch Trailer for Jordan Davis Documentary, '3 1/2 Minutes.' Coming to HBO This Fall Here Are the Cities & Theaters in Which Patrik-Ian Polk's Award-Winning Drama 'Blackbird' Will Open Here Are the Cities & Theaters in Which Patrik-Ian Polk's Award-Winning Drama 'Blackbird' Will Open Trailer: Pilot Project 'First Gen' (The Trials and Tribulations of Being a First Gen Nigerian-American) Trailer: Pilot Project 'First Gen' (The Trials and Tribulations of Being a First Gen Nigerian-American) Apparently, Many of You Aren't Pleased With the "All-New" 'Single Ladies'... What's Going on? Apparently, Many of You Aren't Pleased With the "All-New" 'Single Ladies'... What's Going on? What to Expect in Season 2 of 'Empire' (Less Opulence; Spike Lee May Direct, Oprah May Guest-Star, More) What to Expect in Season 2 of 'Empire' (Less Opulence; Spike Lee May Direct, Oprah May Guest-Star, More) Why Was Janet Hubert (Aunt Viv) Really Replaced on 'Fresh Prince of Bel-Air'? Buzzfeed Investigates Why Was Janet Hubert (Aunt Viv) Really Replaced on 'Fresh Prince of Bel-Air'? Buzzfeed Investigates Whoopi Goldberg & Daughter Alex Martin Enter Reality TV Series Ring Whoopi Goldberg & Daughter Alex Martin Enter Reality TV Series Ring Aaron McGruder Finally Explains Why He Left 'The Boondocks' Aaron McGruder Finally Explains Why He Left 'The Boondocks' Netflix Explains Why It Doesn't Always Have That Film Or TV Show You Really Want To See (Video) Netflix Explains Why It Doesn't Always Have That Film Or TV Show You Really Want To See (Video) Tichina Arnold Says She Talked To Martin Lawrence About Doing A 'Martin' Movie... Tichina Arnold Says She Talked To Martin Lawrence About Doing A 'Martin' Movie...

Kerry Washington Says She Wouldn't Have Starred In 'Scandal' If The President Was Black

Photo of Tambay A. Obenson By Tambay A. Obenson | Shadow and Act February 7, 2013 at 4:32PM

"I was a little concerned because [the character has] a scandalous relationship with the [occupant of the] White House," the actress says of her role, which is based on a real-life Beltway insider. "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." 
52
Scandal Season 2

"I was a little concerned because [the character has] a scandalous relationship with the [occupant of the] White House," the actress says of her role, which is based on a real-life Beltway insider. "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." 

Words spoken by Kerry Washington, about her hit ABC Shondo Rhimes-created drama, Scandal. This was lifted from the latest issue of Ebony magazine (via News One). Kerry's on the cover.

So, if I'm understanding her correctly, she wouldn't have done the show if President Fitzgerald Grant was a brotha, because she felt that it might have implied (to audiences) that there were some similarities between the relationship Olivia Pope has with the fictional president, and her own real-life relationship with President Obama. She felt that audiences may have wondered if she had some insider POV of Obama's White House.

Hmm... Ok. I'm trying to wrap my mind around that. I guess I can understand her concerns. BUT, from what we know of Kerry Washington, she doesn't strike me as someone who would really gives a damn what audiences might infer from roles she takes, so her reasoning is a little surprising to me. 

Audiences took issue with the role she played in Django Unchained from the start, but that didn't stop her from taking the role.

I wonder if she gave any thought to the *positive* influences that having a black president on the show could have meant; it seems as if the *negatives,* from her POV, outweighed the positives. 

But if he was a black president, having an affair, would black America have rejected that - a black president having an affair, on a hit TV show? 

I wonder if the people she was most concerned about (given her above quote) weren't so much the audience that actually drives the show's ratings (black women primarily), but were instead white Americans.

As an addendum to this, a few days ago, Star Jones took to Twitter and challenged Shonda Rhimes on the interracial love affair on the show.

The first tweet came from Star Jones:

??? for @shondaRhimes: Why does #OliviaPope reject fine azz Senate Maj Leader #EdisonDavis for married #POTUS w/ a pregnant wife? #Scandal

There wasn't an immediate response, so she followed that up with:

I love #scandal. @kerrywashington is ridiculously good...but I'd love to see #OliviaPope reject the unethical & immoral for a good brother!

Some minutes later, Shonda Rhimes replied with:

OH! Just read the tweets. Here's answer: Because this show is not a fairy tale & Olivia is not a role model.”

And Star Jones replied with:

Fair enough.

So... what do you guys say about all this? Much ado about nothing? Or is there something worth talking about here? Is she being genuine, or is she just trying to stir up conversation around her and the show? After all, publicity is publicity...

This article is related to: Television, TV Features, Kerry Washington


Shadow & ActNewsletter