Kerry Washington is proving yet again that she’s one of the most woke women in Hollywood.
In the May issue of Glamour, Washington opens up about her political views and how they’ve affected her work on Scandal.
“For democracy to work, everybody has to have a voice,” she said. “It’s not about demonizing other voices. It’s important that there be real conversations across the aisle. There are people on the opposite end of the political spectrum who think that I’m part of a left-wing propaganda machine. It makes me sad that people would think that, because I believe for democracy to work, there has to be diversity of thought.”
Part of that diversity is using her Scandal character, Olivia Pope, to send one very clear message. More in the world of Scandal than in real life, the lives of black women matter. It’s a message that doesn’t get told in most of our media, but Scandal says it loud and clear.
“When Olivia was kidnapped, it was not lost on me that the fictional president of the United States was willing to go to war to save one black woman at a time when hundreds of black women were missing in Nigeria and we were begging the world to pay attention,” Washington said. “Shonda [Rhimes, creator] was saying, ‘The life of a black woman matters.'”
That’s a huge departure from earlier in the series, Washington added.
“In the first season, it was as if Olivia Pope was raceless. There was no denying that Olivia was a black woman, because I’m a black woman playing her in badass white trench coats that call to attention the fact that I’m not looking like anybody else on television. But we didn’t talk about her identity as a black person.”
We’re really glad that changed, and that Scandal is taking such a hard stance to say that black lives matter.