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Shonda Rhimes Rejects Claim That 'Scandal' OKs Infidelity. But Fitz & Olivia Are 'Not Finished'

Television
by Tambay A. Obenson
August 28, 2013 6:57 PM
8 Comments
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"I don’t feel like we’re making adultery acceptable. We weren’t setting out to make adultery OK. To me it’s not about adultery or not adultery. We’re telling the story of these two characters who very specifically have this kind of relationship [...] we tell all sides. So while there are times when you’re like, ‘Fitz (Tony Goldwyn) and Liv are wonderful and I want them to be together,’ there are also times you think, ‘Fitz is scum and he shouldn’t be cheating on his wife.’ And there are times you think, ‘Olivia should go off and find herself somebody who’s single.’ I like the fact that everybody feels this big debate. That’s fantastic, because that’s the point. We’re not giving a judgement on it one way or the other."

Showrunner Shonda Rhimes responding to what she likely perceived as a less than flattering comparison made between her show and another ABC drama, Betrayal

You see, what had happen was... the executive producer of that show, David Zabel, made public comments about the handling of adultery on TV, especially when its a show with a female protagonist. His show, Betrayal, like Scandal, also features a plotline that centers on a married woman’s *romanticized* affair with someone else’s husband. Zabel shared that he felt it's "a challenge" to make your female protagonist a cheater, but added, "They’ve overcome it on Scandal. They’ve overcome it pretty well, as far as I understand."

Prompting Shonda's response above...

I'll have to think about what he means when he says that it's a challenge to make the female protagonist on a show a cheater.

By the way, while she wouldn't give anything away on the upcoming 3rd season, Rhimes, when asked by TV Line about whether the relationship between Fitz and Olivia would continue into next season, replied, after dancing around the question a little bit, by stating "it's not finished."

So there you go Scandal fanatics! More close-up shots of a brooding, bratty Tony Goldwyn, as well as Kerry Washington's pouty, quivering lips, and extended stares across rooms, with accompanying soundtrack.

I should also mention that Lisa Kudrow has been cast in a secret recurring role, debuting during the upcoming season.

Thoughts on Shonda Rhimes' response??

This all reminded me of a related image that was sent to me several months ago, that I thought was hilarious, and so shared on the S&A Facebook fan page. It generated quite a reaction from readers - a lot of it combative, between those who felt it reflected truth, and those who didn't.

The image is embedded below for those who don't follow us on Facebook, so you can see what caused the ruckus.

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8 Comments

  • lauren | August 28, 2013 10:44 PMReply

    Mellie is a cold piece of work who uses hand sanitizer after holding her newborn! Lol. Go Team OLITZ!

  • Emma | August 29, 2013 9:31 AM

    Lol Lauren, I thought I was the only one that noticed that hand sanitizer action.

  • Troy | August 28, 2013 10:27 PMReply

    I don't think it's that hard to understand what he meant with his statement. The fact of the matter is that audiences, male and female - but mostly male - tend to dislike female characters who cheat, whether they're the protagonist of the piece or not. For evidence of this, look no further than Breaking Bad, which (SPOILER ALERT) has the wife of the protagonist - who is a meth dealer and killer - cheating on her husband, which has been a big (but admittedly not the only) factor in why so many folks seem to hate her character. It's gotten to the point that the actress playing that role wrote a rhetorical op-ed in the New York Times wondering why so many guys seem to have a problem with her character...

  • Monique a Williams | August 29, 2013 8:21 AM

    Yes, I read it and was appalled! People can't separate fact from fiction, calling for her real life death. The audience is finally served multi-faceted and multidimensional characters, flawed and authentic, and can't handle it. I think Zabel was right in his assessment.

  • ALM | August 28, 2013 9:44 PMReply

    Lisa Kudrow from "Friends"? Now that's the interesting piece of news here.....

  • Beemooree | August 28, 2013 7:09 PMReply

    Does any else think Olivia pope wouldn't be black if there wasn't a Judy smith

  • Darden | August 29, 2013 11:31 PM

    She wouldn't be black if there weren't a Shondra Rhimes.

  • Jen Jen | August 29, 2013 2:19 PM

    There wouldn't be a show if there wasn't a Judy Smith. It's very loosely based on her career.

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