In the February issue of Ebony magazine, cover girl Kerry Washington made a comment about her ABC megahit “Scandal” that was picked up by blogs and eventually stretched into something completely foreign to its original intent.
The actress, who has campaigned for President Obama and is a member of the President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities, told Ebony she would not have taken the role of DC fixer Olivia Pope if the show’s President Fitzgerald Grant (Tony Goldwyn), with whom Olivia has been having an affair, had been written as a black character.
Kerry Washington and Tony Goldwyn in ABC’s “Scandal”
“I was a little concerned because [my character has] a scandalous relationship with the [occupant of the] White House,” Washington told the magazine. “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.”
Subsequent headlines created by web outlets that carried the story – like Madame Noire’s, “Hmmm: Kerry Washington Says She Wouldn’t Have Done ‘Scandal’ If The President Was Black” – left a lot to the imagination for people who didn’t bother to actually click on the article and read the quote.
Kerry explains below.
“Scandal” airs Thursdays at 10 on ABC.
Tonight’s episode: Information about Huck’s past is revealed; not realizing that someone could be watching, Fitz and Olivia have an emotionally charged conversation; Cyrus becomes increasingly suspicious of Jake. Watch clips from tonight’s episode below.