A lot has changed since Scandal first hit airwaves in 2012, making Kerry Washington the first Black woman to helm a network series in forty years. While Washington has continued to dazzle fans every Thursday night, she’s no longer the only sista in primetime.
Taraji P. Henson, Meagan Good, Gabrielle Union, Halle Berry, Nicole Beharie, Viola Davis, Tracee Ellis Ross, and Angela Bassett now anchor hit shows, and it’s no longer special or exotic or revolutionary to see a Black female lead on TV.
With that in mind, Washington sat down with Yahoo Style to chat about her groundbreaking role as Olivia Pope and her character’s crisp wardrobe.
When asked if she ever thought Olivia Pope would be so influential, not only for women on television, but women of color in general, Washington said it’s exciting, but she’s glad the pressure to be the only Black woman on network TV is now gone.
“I love that it isn’t a part of the conversation anymore. We’re not really talking about how it’s rare to see a black woman on television anymore, because it’s all over the place,” she said. “Olivia Pope is surrounded by powerful, strong, amazing women on television and so maybe she can stop being a woman of color and be a human being.”
While it’s true, Olivia Pope has been joined on TV by several Black female characters in recent years, Black women are still very much underrepresented in primetime.
What do you think? Have we reached the point where Olivia Pope can stop being seen as a woman of color?