Kerry Washington: “I Wouldn’t Have Starred In ‘Scandal’ if President Were Black!”

Movies & TV

/ February 8, 2013

If you’re still reeling from last night’s epic episode of Scandal, we have some interesting news that will make you look at Olivia Pope very differently.

The latest issue of EBONY Magazine finds Kerry Washington, who also graces the cover, admitting to her devoted Scandal fans that she would have passed on the role if the White, married Leader of the Free World had been Black.

“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 in 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.”

The Django Unchained star has campaigned for President Barack Obama during both of his terms. She gave a rousing speech during the 2012 Democratic National Convention, so it’s easy to see why she would feel so conflicted. But to peg a statement from Shadow And Act’s Tambay Obenson, “Did she give any thought to the ‘positive’ influences that would have come with having a Black president on the show?”

While this could be much ado about nothing, it is interesting to note that with the show’s break out success there have been some notable detractors—namely Star Jones. The former entertainment lawyer recently took the show to task by voicing her concern with the show’s creator. You can read her tweeted conversation with the show’s creator, Shonda Rhimes, here.

Do you think that Shonda Rhimes and Kerry Washington are just creating a new territory for Black actors? Or was there a concerted effort to appease White audiences? Let us know below!

Props: Shadow And Act