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Y'all do Realize Olivia Pope is Not Real, Right?: The Scandalous Lies About Our Love and Hate of Scandal

Okay, I finally took the bait and posted about the ABC series SCANDAL starring Kerry Washington and Tony Goldwyn and created by Shonda Rhimes. I think I avoided the topic of the show because it has been all over my timeline on Facebook and Twitter. Talking about what everybody else is talking about in the same way they talk about it bores me. 

I finally relented when this video showed up in my Facebook timeline about Olivia Pope telling her married lover to “earn” her. Brooke argues that he doesn't have to "earn" much because any woman who is sleeping with a married man does not value herself very much. 

And here is the scene from Scandal she's talking about:

So we got into a Beyonce-like debate on the WAOD Facebook Page this weekend. Here's what I realized. Everybody is lying!

Scandal haters don’t want to come right out and say that what they hate most about the show is that the lead Black character is the object of desire of a powerful White man. The second thing they don’t want to come out and say is that a Black woman who is not asexual has no business on broadcast television. If Olivia Pope was sitting at home every night eating a TV dinner and praying to the LAWD to send her a man, then they would perfectly fine with that. 


Scandal lovers don’t want to come out and admit that broadcast television is a powerful driver of culture - good and bad. An entire generation of Black girls is going to see their place in the world differently because of this character - in ways microscopic and massive. Much in the way that Top Gun increased interest in becoming a fighter pilot and Clair Huxtable increased interest in becoming a lawyer with a fly brownstone and A Different World increased interest in HBCUs. So yes, it is entertainment, but it’s also is a powerful driver of culture.  In a world where there are so few images of Black women on broadcast television that look, sound and act like Olivia Pope, it’s reasonable that people would want to psychoanalyze her role and discuss potential impacts. That doesn’t make them hateful oppressors trying to keep the professional Black woman down. Get a grip!



Here are some Facebook Comments and my response. 


I DESPISE IT AND ALL IT REPRESENTS. Wonder if our community would [like] Scandal as much if the prez was Black and Olivia a blond? -


What exactly does it represent? Also, I don’t know if the Black “community” loves Scandal. I know most of the Black women in my social circle love Olivia Pope. She’s their Carrie Bradshaw. Do you despise Nashville or Dallas or Revenge or 90210 or Dynasty or any other soap opera on television. What makes SCANDAL particularly loathesome?


A man shouldn't earn you, but he should demonstrate some level of commitment, loyalty, and show you he can put in the time and effort before you even start dating him: 


Dating shouldn’t be this high stakes. That’s probably your problem. It’s dating, not an engagement. And I think Olivia and Fitz are well beyond dating. 


All of my friends are raving about that show. Maybe I'll catch an episode. I don't really have patience with soap opera type writing. Plus I am not a fan of "she of the perpetual pout."


--Kerry Washington does pout a lot. 


Pope does act needy. And that white man playing Fitz looks like he is in pain when he has to hug/kiss her.


--- Yes, Olivia has issues. You want a protagonist who is flawed. Otherwise she’d be boring. I don’t know what’s fogging up your glasses, but from the short clips that I’ve seen of Tony Goldwyn looking at Kerry Washington he doesn’t look in “pain.” He looks as if he wants to devour her. I’m sorry, but I’m seeing major chemistry. But let’s get to the more important issue. WHY would you, a Black woman want to send the  message that a man would not find another Black woman desirable? How does that benefit you?


I do watch the show, but find the whole Olivia/President love story problematic at best (and enraging at it's worst). Let's talk about how entitled Pres acts towards Olivia's body, while being completely dismissive of her personally. Ugh. (Full disclosure, I am a white/mix woman, and probably don't have any business here, but I LOVE your work and share it with many of my friends and students. I'll keep reading, even if I'm not the target audience.)


--- Thanks for reading. 


Okay, I'm a big fan, but none of my friends see it my way. I think that the Prez is a weak man who is manipulated by his wife, his mistress and his chief of staff. As far as Olivia, I think the interesting quote from her is, "I want a painful, difficult, devastating, live-changing, extraordinary love." She said that to the man who wanted to put a ring on it. Love should not hurt or be an endurance exercise. Liv needs therapy.


--Yep. Television soap characters are usually a mess. I used to watch Dallas and the entire Ewing family was a mess. 


The thing liberating thing that I find about Olivia is that she has evolved beyond perfection, is ok with being flawed, and does not feel any need to justify or defend herself to anyone. Her sexuality does not define her. It's only a small facet of who she is. We have had to be concerned about our images for long enough. 


I don't know how many of us were old enough to remember Diahanne Carroll on the show Dynasty, but she was also a beautiful, flawed, black woman who had affairs with white men. She gave Joan Collins a run for her money as the first 'black bitch' ever on prime time. Ratings soared..


Anyway it's ok for us to do something out of the box from time to time to liberate ourselves. Olivia has already squashed all of the basic stereotypes. Let her do her thing...


--- Ah yes, but when Dynasty was on, television was a lot more diverse--- ironically. We have more channels than ever, but the depiction of Black women is narrower than ever :( 

Scandal is a soap opera tv show first & foremost. However, the reason why I and many bw like it is for once a bw is not portrayed as a mammy/mule/sister soldier. Her crew will lie, cheat, and fall on a sword for her with no questions asked. The angry/ guard dog bw role is played by a ww. The Olivia Pope character is shown as feminine, vulnerable, desirable and intelligent. I support the show because the main character is an unambiguously bw who's not being presented as filler/sidekick/comic relief/whipping post/mammy/mule/manly bw character. THIS representation of a NORMAL acting bw is a good thing. No neck rolling, eyes bucked finger snapping, stereotypical sassy bw behavior. Again, it's a soap opera and infidelity has been the crux of soaps since they started up on the radio in the 50s. Olivia Pope is definitely not a Tyler Perry caricature of successful bw. The show is my weekly cotton candy and I like it. Apparently, so do a lot of other folks and not just bw. Never cared for Grey's Anatomy, but I give Shonda Rimes mad props for this show. I'll take Scandal over anything on BET, TVOne, & Tyler Perry any day.


--And there you have it. Professional Black women are an underserved market and Scandal is resonating with them because they see a reflection of themselves on screen-Olivia is flawed, but so are they. 

She is fashionable!


I’m not going to start watching the show now. I’ll wait until its all over and watch a marathon in a few years. I kinda like saying I don’t watch it at this point. 

And a final thought from a WAOD Facebook Fan:

not my cuppa, but at least it's a popular show with a black woman who isn't a maid, crack head or best friend...


Hmmm and folks, I guess we can call that progress "At least the Black lady is not a crackhead!" Rosa Parks must be overjoyed at our standard of excellence. -- I may not agree with you about the show, but I understand :)

Reader Comments (37)

Shonda Rhimes, the show's creator, has already emphasized that Olivia Pope is a flawed character. She's not supposed to be a model of virtue. Hence the name of the show -- "Scandal".

I recall Star Jones criticizing the show specifically because Ms. Pope rejected a Black Senator to continue her relationship wtih the White President. She asked why Ms. Pope was rejecting a "fine Black man". I'm sure that for a few Black women, the fact that Ms. Pope is in an intimate relationship with a White man is of great concern. There are quite a few "nothing but a brother" women out there who don't like other Black women bucking the system.

May 6, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterLorna Jerome

I can say with absolute honesty that I have never, ever seen one episode. And not for any of the above-mentioned reasons. I just try not to watch too much TV, because no matter what, they always get Black women wrong, in one way or another.

Instead, I'm much more concerned with the Obama administration's recent announcement (with great fanfare) that the FBI has just put a target in the center of Assata Shakur's head and made her THE FIRST WOMAN EVER to be put on the FBI Terrorism list. I don't know, but that seems much more concerning a topic to Black women than Scandal or what dress Kerry Washington is wearing (although I like Kerry Washington).

A Black woman - from a country (and from a time) that has had 400 years of racial violence, KKK violence, white women and men who have been in anti-government movements and spies against the U.S., white homegrown terrorists (like the woman who lied on Emmit Till leading to his lynching and many other Black people's lynchings) - has been added to the FBIs list but not a single white woman has or ever will be put on the terrorism list.

To add insult to injury, Assata Shakur (and many other Black women of the era) fought against racism and imperialism in various ways (in her case - nationalistic) to make it possible for character's like an Olivia Pope to even exist freely, for an Obama to be President - in other words, fought for our humanity as Black women and people, whether we agreed with their methods or not. Not only that, much evidence surrounds her case that raises serious doubt as to whether she is guilty of the "crime" they are accusing her of anyway.

This admin has effectively criminalized Black women in the worst way, making it clear that anyone of us who stands up against injustice can be hunted down and targeted by drones if it is not in agreement with the prescribed propaganda, and Black women are mum. Even more disturbing is that the faces standing out front to hunt down and kill a Black woman are Black male faces (President Obama, Eric Holder, the New Jersey FBI head), who seem to be acting as bounty hunters for a white supremacist agenda.

Where is the outrage among Black woman?
This move effectively racially profiles US ALL among law enforcement, local as well as federal. This move effectively makes the very women who were the victims of the FBI and COINTELPRO and racism the criminals in America - while other groups get off scott-free no matter what violence and hatred they inflicted against Black people - no matter how many hundreds of years. This move also continues the attempt to degrade the value of Black women's lives and gives carte-blanche permission to violent criminals in our own communities - black ones - to continue their rally in violence against Black women.

If you thought Black women are not respected in many Black communities now, then, with the blessing of the FBI and the Black President, it will only get worse, if that's possible, and Black women will be even further victimized by violence.

I'm surprised at the silence.

May 6, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterAJ

"I'm sure that for a few Black women, the fact that Ms. Pope is in an intimate relationship with a White man is of great concern. There are quite a few "nothing but a brother" women out there who don't like other Black women bucking the system."

- I think for many Black women, it is a bit of a bother that she is in a relationship with a married man. Also that she rejected to continue a healthy relationship because she believes love should be stressing, painful and hard. All that being said me and the wife watch every week ;-) The show is ground breaking and I think that many black female viewers do take it all with a grain of salt. It has had a positive influence for Black programming on television after all it started the copy cat show Deception with Meagan Good as a lead.

May 6, 2013 | Unregistered Commentertusk91

AJ - I do agree that it is suspicious timing about her making the FBI most wanted list. But, not so much that it "This admin has effectively criminalized Black women in the worst way". I mean she was involved in a shoot out with the police where an officer was killed.

But, it does remind me of a good movie with Kerry Washington.

"Night Catches us" - In 1976, complex political and emotional forces are set in motion when a young man returns to the race-torn Philadelphia neighborhood where he came of age during the Black Power movement.


Kerry Washington
Anthony Mackie

May 6, 2013 | Unregistered Commentertusk91

tusk91, they put her on the TERRORISM list for ALLEGEDLY killing ONE police officer 40 years ago. 40 years ago. Corrupt cops in America mow down more people than that every single day. They aren't on the list. The unabomber went missing for years - never on the terrorism list. John Muhammad, the sniper, killed several people and it took quite a while to finally catch him - never on the terrorism list. Adama Lanza just mowed down 22 little kids and he hasn't been criminalized this way. Charles Manson had a whole crew of white women acting as serial killers for him - not one ever even considered for a terrorism list.

Whether you agree that Assata Shakur is a criminal or not, the biggest problem with this is that she is the FIRST and ONLY woman on this list - no white women, no KKK mothers and lynchers, no white women MARRIED to known terrorists (i.e. the Boston Bombers), no white women who were terrorist themselves - of which there have been many in the U.S.

The next biggest problem is that BLACK MEN put her on the list. That should signal some real concern in all Black women. Not one single white president put not one single white woman on the terrorism list. Not one. Even though they know full well it was their white wives, girlfriends, mothers and sisters standing on the front lines of terror against Blacks and Native Indians, raising their boys (and girls) into white supremacists and violent racists.

The police kill black people everyday unjustly - they aren't on the terrorism list. Assata Shakur was fighting in a different time - a COINTELPRO-Dr.King-slaughtered-virulently-racist time - and, if she did shoot, it was in self defense.

May 6, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterAJ

"I'm sure that for a few Black women, the fact that Ms. Pope is in an intimate relationship with a White man is of great concern. There are quite a few "nothing but a brother" women out there who don't like other Black women bucking the system."

"- I think for many Black women, it is a bit of a bother that she is in a relationship with a married man. Also that she rejected to continue a healthy relationship because she believes love should be stressing, painful and hard."

I don't watch the show and don't plan on watching it. I'm not a fan of soap operas of any kind- daytime or nighttime. But the two above quotes give me pause. When the show first came out, I thought it was interesting that the lead character - a black woman who is intelligent, professional, attractive and influential, is still insecure enough to be involved with a man with whom she can only be the sidepeice and who does not respect her. Yes, I know this happens in real life, and I get that "flawed" characters are interesting, but I sitll find it annoying that a black woman has to be somehow taken down a peg if she's "too successful" (yeah, she's got it going on but she's still just a <fill in the blank with derogatory term of your choice> who's desperate for a man, even if he's married.)

Also, I believe that one big reason the show is successful is because of the IR angle. If the character of the President was black, there would not be as many folks loving the show. Olivia would not be seen as a sister who is "bucking the system", but as a sister who is dumb enough to get involved with a trilfing brother who is trying to have his cake and eat it too. Instead of "rooting" for Olivia and Fritz, they would be talking about how he was just another man who cheats on his wife and strings his mistress along, and how she needs to get out and save herself before it's too late.


Yes, I agree this all smoke and mirrors to distract us from what's really important. Thank you for bringing up the Assata Shakur situation. I read her book and it's fascinating.

May 6, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMommieDearest

Point well taken and this is a FBI terrorist list not the FBI most wanted list. If I am not mistaken Angela Davis was on the FBI most wanted list. I see that Angela Davis and her lawyer Lennox Hinds are speaking out about it. Thanks for the info I will be sure to follow this.

May 6, 2013 | Unregistered Commentertusk91

I think some black women are just as uncomfortable seeing a black woman being loved by a man- especially a non-black man- as some black men are. Unfortunately, seeing a black woman be desired (esp. by a very powerful man) is not a common narrative for many of us

May 6, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterZabeth

Yes, the targeting of Tupac's aunt is SUSPECT. As with Shirley Sherrod, Susan Rice, and every other black woman that has been vilified by this administration or thrown under the bus... this is a MAJOR turning point in who this administration is willing to "sacrifice" in order to appease the majority's "indignation" over having a black POTUS. I don't watch the show (limiting my t.v. viewing), but this should be a MAJOR wake-up call. Illegal Immigrants has been BANNED from the AP news wire! You can't call Latino (mainly) law-breakers LAW-BREAKERS anymore, but we can hunt down a black woman from a crime 40 years ago w/ murky details who no one really remembers anymore? A white man can kill 20+ CHILDREN (and his own mother) and get the benefit of the doubt?

All these folks wailing about "Olivia Pope" need to catch a clue. The more images of us that show black women as WOMEN need to be championed. And yes... I did take note at the "brotha" hoisting up the poster with the 2MILLION dollar reward!!! That's right. We're in a sequester, we are slashing budgets, we can't pay for school systems and cities are going bankrupt... but we have time to fund 2Million towards hunting down a middle-aged to going on elderly black woman for a crime from 40 years ago that has dubious evidence. This is to calm folks (not us) down, and throw a new log in the fire.

May 6, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterDailyLattes

@Aj Thank you for saying that it needed to be said.

I have never seen an episode of Scandal.I took notice of Shonda's portrayal of black women in prior shows.It left a bad taste in my mouth.I couldn't bring myself to watch anything that she created. I also can't help but think that Shonda Rhimes making this character so particularly flawed all the while the character screws the president still may be a way for Shonda to denigrate black women.This time without black women thinking much of it because the character gets to screw a president.I am very suspicious about her intent in creating some of the black women characters that she has. She seems to have went through ALL the stereotypes about black women from Mammy to Jezebel.

May 6, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterTruth P.

They were saying that she is Tupac Shakur mother. Black men always show their hatred of the Black woman.
Assata Shakur makes the FBI most wanted. Keep in mind people already have these notions of Black Women.
I do not watch Scandal , but I will check out an episode. When Black women are portrayed, we have to be perfect 100%. All other groups of women have the luxury of being flawed and it is ok. We know Olivia's in our lives. Not so much the cheating but that they are always trying to have it all and realize that they are not perfect. I like Kerry Washington and she is a very talent woman.

May 6, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterShaylah

I too have wondered why one of the few black women in history of TV in full control of her sexuality and her professional life would have to be engaged in a hot and heavy affair with a married, public figure. This isn't a one-time-let's-get-it-in-so -we-can-get-it-out-of-our-systems roll in the sack. This is multi-year affair that is influencing her career and ,in some ways, her life.

Also, it annoys me that the show doesn't address the nastiness from underlings and colleagues who are aware of the affair. In the real world, people would know that the sitting president was screwing some woman besides his wife and they would gossip about it. People would question Pope's professionalism, her competence and her access to the White House. Is she there because she is capable or is she there because of the time she spent on her knees last night. That would be standard operating procedure in any organization and the fact that she's black would only add fuel to the fire.

May 7, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMonica

@AJ: You have to realize that when it comes to the current administration, a lot of black folks (like those in the "leadership class") experience severe cognitive dissonance. They want to discuss the legacy of racial oppression in this country but they can't bring themselves around to criticize that government when it has a brown face. If you recall only the black plaintiff in the NDAA lawsuit was Cornel West. Not a peep from Brother Sharpton or Toure or Harris Perry about the NDAA or the kill list. It's like they didn't get that the terrorist policies will affect Black people first like everything else.

No one is questioning why a member of the Weather Underground can be an close associate of the President but Assata is listed as a terrorist. Nor are they asking why Assata listed as a terrorist and but not George Wright? The administration has already claimed the right to kill Americans deemed dangerous terrorists. Do they want to arrest her or launch a drone attack?

May 7, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMonica

I don't think you can look at the Assata Shakur situation without considering that she is in Cuba where she was granted political asylum and that it is the 40th anniversary of the death of the trooper. The U.S. is always looking for some way to antagonize Cuba, and people are always looking to make some type of dramatic statement on a major anniversary. I do agree that it is problematic that this is happening during a so-called black administration, but I think you could count on a Romney administration doing the same thing.

May 7, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterdonnadara

Wonder how Jay Z getting a free pass to romp in Cuba plays into this? Is it don't pay any attention to my buddy and I will hand you a black woman who is in Cuba as a sacrifice instead?

May 7, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterBee

Television and film have a profound effect on the way people think and behave. For anyone to suggest otherwise would be extremely naive. I remember Halle Berry's portrayal of a single black mother who loses her only child and responds by begging the local redneck to "make me feel good." This, essentially, confirmed one of the most virulent and racist stereotypes about black women. The idea that sisters were sexually insatiable and promiscuous. This stereotype was used effectively during slavery and jim crow to justify the rape of black women by white men. My problem with Scandal is one I have with most television programming. Why do virtually all of the attractive brothers and sisters on cable and network television have a white love interest. It was recently announced that Idris Elba's romantic interest in the series Luther will be the white actress Sienna Guillory. Is this the new norm?

May 7, 2013 | Unregistered Commentersepia

Here's an article about the suspect timing (right on the heels of the Boston Marathon Bombing) of Assata Shakur being placed on the terrorist list.


May 7, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMommieDearest

WOW! As for the tv show "Scandal", it's good acting, but Olivia Pope seems like a glamourous, well-educated mammy for powerful White people, cleaing up their messes, etc. As for our beloved sister, Assata Shakur, if you go back and read the history of her case, even a doctor testified, that given her injuries at the time of the shooting incident, she had her hands up and shot once in the front and once in the back; no way she could have shot anybody. She is now on the FBI Most Wanted TERRORIST List. We need to pay attention, soon it will be increasingly difficult for any of us to protest anything, i.e., police brutality, war, Wall Street crimes, etc.

Lastly, Cuba is socialist and while not perfect, it offers its citizens a much better standard of living that any country in the Western Hemisphere, especially regarding health care (how they treat HIV/AIDS patients is so compassionate!), education, the decriminalization of homosexuality, etc.

And yes, I mos def liked the tv show "Deception." Some folks are very uneasy to see sisters with non-African men. :)

May 7, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterrevmamaafrika

@Bee, sounds about right to me!

And I thought the SAME THING. You already KNOW they are hoping to catch this poor woman and do some mess on "terrorism" while not doing a THING about other cases. Just so that it is clear that black folks can't "just go" to Cuba.

May 7, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterDailyLattes

@AJ Make sure to sign the Petition for Assata Shakur at Change.org. If she is captured and brought to America, we should be organized to support and defend her. From my reading of her trial, she was shot twice, but she never shot anyone I don't believe a Jury would find her guilty based on the evidence or lack thereof. It may be a good thing for he to come and stand trial, provided we don't allow her to be railroaded a second time..

It's not surprising to me that this happened during a Black Presidency. White Supremacy operates that way--put a Black face up front to hide what they are actually doing.

No comment on the Sally Hemming Thomas Jefferson TV show. To each her own.

May 8, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterbnance

@ Sepia

"Luther" takes place in the UK where the rate of marrying outside of one's race is significantly much higher for black men and women compared to their counterparts in the US. I don't think the average Black British person would see it as something unusual for a professional black man like Luther to have a white significant other.

As for "Scandal", I suspect that they felt an interracial-couple would make it easier for "Scandal" to avoid being marginalized as a 'black show'. Shonda Rhimes has made it clear in interviews that the show is intended to appeal to a diverse audience and not just black viewers.


I think I get your point but using the Sally Hemmings reference really trivializes the experience of slavery and the struggles women of color encountered during that time. Olivia may be demeaning herself by having an affair with a married man but she is still a free woman engaging in a relationship of her own free will. She is not Fitz's property.

May 8, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterLL


"Why do virtually all of the attractive brothers and sisters on cable and network television have a white love interest... Is this the new norm?"

It certainly seems that way. There is an agenda.

May 8, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMommieDearest

Scandal is just a tv show, we need to stop reading so much into it. Kerry Washington dates white men in her private life, she is more like her character anyway. I do agree with the person who commented about Shonda Rimes. I am not sure what her status is but she is often reluctant to show black couples on her show with healthy relationships.I enjoy Scandal but t is just entertainment. we should save our outrage for the backwards and racist manner in which black women perform on reality shows.

May 9, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterSue

@Sue: Scandal is "just a tv show" like Birth of a Nation was just a movie. A movie that had a profound negative impact on this country for 100 years. Nothing is just entertainment. On the hit show Shameless, Vanessa Bell Calloway plays the mother of Shanola Hampton's character. When her daughter is unable to conceive, she agrees to have sex with her white son in law. She continues to have sex with him even after she discovers she has become pregnant. These are the only two black women on the show and they are given the most trashy roles. Why?

May 9, 2013 | Unregistered Commentersepia

@Sue, why should we "save" for something else. I'm doing two things at once right now, typing this comment and cooking dinner. Why we gotta do errrrrthing as a group? Scandal is NOT just a T.V. show, it is the highest rated show for that time spot (scripted) and is the first BW lead show since the 70's. That makes it more than "just" a T.V. show, that makes it a cultural touchstone. Likewise, it seems to be one of the few options with an ATTRACTIVE black woman that's not on a realityshow being a day*m fool.

Truth, if none of this mattered, you wouldn't have commented. And you wouldn't have found importance in trying to sway the reason of other black women towards a topic that you wanted US to support.

May 9, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterDailyLattes

"Scandal is just a tv show, we need to stop reading so much into it. "

Thank You.

White men are not going to start chasing BW because of this show.

If Olivia were the President's wife, that would be better for the image of BW. White men have never had a problem having clandestine sexual relationships with BW. But they do have a real problem with MARRYING BW. So do we need more white men feeling comfortable using BW only for sex, while choosing non-black women to be their wives and the mothers of their children? I don't think so.

Also, the typical BW does not look like Kerry Washington. Let's be honest about that. I know many IR proponents claim that most white men prefer BW who are extremely dark with bold West African features, but that is not true. White men are not going to run past white, Asian and Hispanic women to get with a plain or unattractive BW because of this show. If Prince Albert's black baby mama looked like Kerry Washington, she would probably now be Princess of Monaco.

Also, Kerry Washington dates white men and is still single at age 36. Most white and Asian women have at least one marriage by age 30. So even Kerry does not have lots of powerful white men dying to marry her in real life.

May 10, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterann

As for the tv show "Scandal", it's good acting, but Olivia Pope seems like a glamourous, well-educated mammy for powerful White people, cleaing up their messes, etc.

Once upon a time, I would have passionately disagreed with this. But the way the Olivia character has been written this season, I'm leaning more towards this frame of mind, especially since, as the lead character, we know almost nothing about Olivia's background and who she is outside of her relationship to Fitz and the White House. We have folks like Huck and Quinn getting several scenes of flashed backstories (neither of which interested me at all)., but we can't get the same, or better really, for the supposed LEAD on the show?

Eh, I'm probably done with the show after this season (been watching all this time, might as well watch the season finale). There is only so much soapiness I can take, and at this point, I sincerely doubt their love story, particularly on Olivia's end. Fitz often seems more like a project than a man from Olivia's POV, and Fitz' declarations of love read more like teenage angst than a grown azz man. And the nonsensical plot twists for the sake of drah-ma have me shaking my head. But hey, Shonda Rhimes has the Midas touch, more power to her.

May 10, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterDaphne

Olivia Pope, although there is a person called Olivia Pope. The character is not real. People need to calm themselves down and get a life. Be happy for Kerry Washington, because she is the lead role in a successful show. It is funny how we cry about not enough good roles for black women. Now Kerry is getting to play a good roles. People are crying fowl.

May 11, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterValerie

I just really don't see what's so "empowering" about being 2nd to a White woman. I don't watch Scandal,but the fact that the main character is in a relationship with a White man who is too cowardly to make her his one and only doesn't sound progressive at all. I think some people have such a huge hard-on for interracial relationships in media that they can't see this as the same old "black women in the closet, white women in the spotlight" bs reality tells us. While some can't separate fantasy from reality,some can't accept reality for what it is and need to indulge in Colorblind Fanfiction to get their interracial high on.

And nothing is "just a show". Just like Rick Ross's rapey lyrics are not "just music". Acting as if media doesn't have any societal influences is ignorant and counterproductive.

May 12, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMiss Ice

Well I'm still waiting to find out what "regular" BW look like. How Kerry Washington doesn't look "black"? WTW? Really now? If more people dropped excess weight, there'd be a lot more Kerry's out there. Who's next Whitney Houston? Angela Bassett? Gabrielle Union?

I don't really watch the show, and I'm not a fan of the mistress angle. However... supposedly this character comes across as FEMININE, and it is a soap opera so I'mma roll out on that.

May 13, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterDailyLattes

Like Daphne, I've decided that after Thursday's finale which I'll watch Friday on Hulu, Scandal is a wrap for me. To be honest, it's a show and I'm not that invested. What bothers me is that Olitz fans are approaching Beyhive type devotion. Talk about putting someone on a pedestal. I don't want to get caught up in the matrix.

May 14, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMonica

WTH, some of you must really think black women as a whole are unattractive. Also, who the hell determines what is feminine and what is not? No wonder white men and black men, even more so than their white counter parts, feel comfortable in abusing and emasculating black women. Not surprised though, while I am not the biggest Olivia Pope fan, I am not surprised that somehow this have been used as a way to once again control black women. God forbid a black woman think or be portrayed in a way that is different than how somone somewhere says she should.

May 17, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterPhillygurl

//Hmmm and folks, I guess we can call that progress "At least the Black lady is not a crackhead!" Rosa Parks must be overjoyed at our standard of excellence. -- I may not agree with you about the show, but I understand :)//

What is the issue with this show? It is adult content. This show is about a woman having an affair with the president. If this were a white actress, the show would never be discussed. No actual reason is given. Saying it is the wrong message suggests this show is for children. It is not. It is called Scandal for a reason. BW seem not to know what the hell they want on TV. Every single feature is ripped apart.

May 21, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterKMcl

I think for most people the biggest issues are the lack of focus on Olivia's character and her overall background as well as her being the "other woman." Up until the recent season finale you didn't even know she had a father really. And it seems like the character honestly does not care about her job and is willing to risk it in order to be with Mr. I'm too much of a pussy to divorce my wife so I will hate her and complain about her while choosing to remain married to her for some reason. Personally I'm not bothered by the affair angle. But a lot of people believe that Olivia can do so much better. This is Shonda's show but she seems to be sidelining her main character. She gives other people better scenes, good back stories and much more compelling speeches. Shonda needs to write up some healthy romantic options for Olivia b/c Fitz is simply not acceptable. They constantly slut-shame Olivia on her own show. She will have sex with men who then later call her a whore. Fitz has done this to her on numerous occasions. And nobody challenges them. That is a problem. I love Kerry Washington but they seem to be selling Olivia's character short. She needs to be treated much better.

May 25, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterKeeks

There is an additional element here that I have found interesting. There have now been two less than attractive, soldier/spy asexualish white women killed. The symbolism in the expendability of and secondary class or status of white women in this series may also be a powerful culture shifter.

May 28, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterwondering

I have a feeling that they will flesh out Olivia's character in Season three, hence the introduction of her father. I actually enjoy the show, the costume design and melodramatic soapiness, yeah, shoot me. The affair angle while annoying seems to be part of the larger TV heroine arsenal. The imperfection of the female lead is often exploited, take a look at Ally Macbeal and her neurotic self, Felicity who chose a university to be with a boy she had a crush on and so on. For a black female lead we do expect a bit more I guess we always want a flawless Claire Huxtable or at least Joan from Girlfriends. I must say they are creating a myth around the mistress that dos not often occur in real life. Most times, men do not leave their wives for their mistresses.

June 3, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterGeena

To Ann: According to the USA Census the only interracial marriage increasing is black/whites and the one declining is Whites/Asians. The difference is very little between both of them. They are more black women dating white men. John Mc Cain's son marry a black women. Is very common for Asian women to marry old men or funny looking men.For some reason good looking white men do not want to date them.Unless you think that Woody Allen is attractive. You will never see Ryan Gosling dating one but John Mc Cain'son is very handsome and he marry a black women. By your comments I assume that you are Asian. I bet Chinese. They want to make everyone beliieve that all white men are marrying them.In many places you do see Asian/ White.So instead of insulting black women go check the US Census because you are not even the first interracial marriage to whites. Differences is that black women are more picky and they are not desperate like Asians are.

June 9, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJenny

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