Kerry Washington: I Would Have Passed on Scandal if Show Had Black President

The actress talks to Ebony about her hit series.

Kerry Washington is very careful to make sure her art doesn't imitate life. The accomplished actress, who recently won a trio of NAACP Image Awards for her roles in television's Scandal, Django Unchained and her work on behalf of President Barack Obama, tells Ebony magazine her role as crisis manager Olivia Pope on the political drama should never hit too close to home. Especially considering Pope has an affair with the president on the show.
"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, which is based on a real-life Beltway insider. "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."

She adds, "I thought that would be so disrespectful and so against all the work that I had done."
Of course, Washington is also likely very aware that doing a romantic scenes with a Black president would only add fuel to the ridiculous rumors of a love triangle between herself and the Obamas. 

Scandal, meanwhile, has climbed in the ratings in its second season. Looks like creator Shonda Rhimes, the wunderkind behind Grey's Anatomy and Private Practice, scores again. is your #1 source for 
Black celebrity news, photos, exclusive videos and all the latest in the world of hip hop and R&B music.

Click here to subscribe to our newsletter.


 (Photo: Charley Gallay/Getty Images for NAACP Image Awards)

Latest News

Subscribe for BET Updates

Provide your email address to receive our newsletter.

By clicking subscribe, I agree to receive newsletters, marketing communications, updates, special offers (including partner offers), and other information from BET and the Paramount family of companies. For more information about our data practices, consult our Privacy Policy.