8 Reasons Why Black America Is Obsessed With Scandal (And Why You Should Be, Too)


I remember binge watching Scandal with a friend and proclaiming that I want to be Olivia Pope when I grow up, his response was, “One day, m’hija.” Why? What is the appeal and why do we idolize this fictional character?

1. Pope is not playing into a stereotype that many African American women unfortunately portray in TV and films. Kerry Washington is the first Black female TV lead in the last 36 years and that fact alone is exciting. She portrays someone with an amazing academic history, who owns her own business, takes care of the people around her that are less fortunate, and is on top of her game.

2. The show never weighs in on subjects such as race, sexual orientation, or gender. (If you’ve never seen Scandal, there’s a female vice president, an interracial relationship between the President and Pope, and a homosexual Chief of Staff.) In the most heated of arguments — and there are many — none of these things are thrown onto the table to be scrutinized. It’s all very touch-and-go as it should be, though these subjects are very much scrutinized in reality outside of the little TV monitor, it’s nice to see a world where everyone is successful based on merit alone.

3. Pope shows her emotional vulnerability and is never apologetic for her moments of weakness. She doesn’t put on a tough girl exterior and if she wants to cry, she will cry. She always speaks her mind whether is makes her look weak of not. You can see every emotion on her face.

4. The show never makes reference to her race. She is never called out for being the black woman that the President is sleeping with and she is never made to seem as less than in any circumstances. This show is about people, simple as that, and it is absolutely refreshing.

5. Broken homes don’t always make broken people. From losing her mother to a very rocky relationship with her father, Olivia shows that her personal life and her past are less than stellar. She didn’t let that define her or hold her back. She rose above all the negativity and made it to the White House.

6. Scandal shows Pope in a position of power and she is using it for the greater good — even taking on the White House and the President if need be. It’s always about what is right, not personal gain or feelings.

7. I’ll just say it: We want to see what fabulous coat she is going to wear next and search for the best knockoff we can find.

8. Olivia Pope had side chicks everywhere screaming out, “EARN ME!” Whether that is a good thing or not, I’m not the one to judge, but more power to you. Yes, his wife knows about the affair; yes, it is wrong; yes, his wife is a royal pain. But none of that makes having an affair valid, even if you are Olivia Pope. This show really allows you to sit there and look at their dysfunctional relationship and scream at the TV for her to let him go and move the hell on — and hopefully allow you to look at your own situation and do the same.

featured image – Scandal