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No, Columbus Short's Role On 'Scandal' Has Not Been Recast & Likely Never Will Be

by Tambay A. Obenson
May 7, 2014 8:06 PM
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It was about 10 days ago when I first received an email press release (purportedly from ABC) stating that an actor named Eric West had been cast as exiting Columbus Short's replacement on ABC's Scandal. I ignored it, because it didn't look legitimate to me, and a Google search returned nothing of this "news." After that, I received a few more emails on the supposed casting - one even had a screen capture of what was said to be email correspondence between series creator Shonda Rhimes and the stars of the show, announcing that West had been cast as Short's replacement. Needless to say, I didn't buy that either. Although the "news" was picked up by a number of other sites as fact.

Also during the same period, in addition to West, I received email notifications that Larenz Tate had been cast as Columbus Short's replacement on the series. I ignored that as well.

And thankfully so, because, as you can see from Rhimes' tweet above, neither is true. The role has not been recast, and it's not even certain that it will be at this point. Rhimes is quite clear that it won't.

The Eric West casting news was apparently a hoax, likely engineered by the actor himself, and his reps. But it worked - somewhat - since several media sites reported the hoax as factual information (I was surprised that even Deadline fell for it, although they've retracted, after Rhimes blasted them on Twitter earlier today), leading to public interest and conversation around West that there likely wasn't before. After all, I'm writing about him right now, and wouldn't have been doing so otherwise. His IMDB page probably got more hits than it's ever received.

He does have credits, including, most recently, a weekly half-hour sketch comedy series that aired on MTV through last fall, titled Hey Girl, appearing in 8 of 12 episodes. Prior to that, he had an uncredited part in World War Z last summer, and has appeared in single episodes of a few TV series, including Hawaii Five-0. This is all according to his IMDB page.

Of course, we all know who Larenz Tate is, so I'm sure I don't have to provide any background on him.

But, sorry Gladiators, Columbus Short's role has NOT been recast, and it's not certain that it will be.

So you can stop sending me emails about Eric West and Larenz Tate now...

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More: TV News, Shonda Rhimes

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  • Akimbo | May 8, 2014 12:51 AMReply

    This is not a daytime soap; why on earth would they ever recast the role? They will eventually introduce some new recurring character and promote him or her to series regular, but it's not like Harrison's character was inextricably intertwined with the story/mythology of the show. Any one of these characters (except Olivia...and maybe Cyrus...alright and that damn Fitz) could die right now and the show could keep chugging along, unbothered.

  • Reader 1 | May 7, 2014 8:24 PMReply

    Well, it was smart of Eric and his team to do it. Hopefully, it'll pay off for him in other ways. LOL!

  • Right | May 8, 2014 10:08 AM

    He'll never work on a Shonda Rimes show...but maybe there are other producers looking for desperate actors who feed lies about them to the press

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