Scandal: Why More Women of Color Need to be Running the Show


It has been so refreshing and also in some ways weird to watch Kerry Washington as Olivia Pope on a major, mainstream television show watched by millions of all backgrounds. Don’t get me wrong I have seen plenty of shows with mostly cast of color with a leading lady of color, but a major television show like Scandal is a little different. The fact there hasn’t been one since the sitcom Julia in the early 1970’s is mind blowing. Honestly, it is scandalous that this is even a fact. It took that long!


Notable for being one of the first weekly series to depict an African American woman in a non-stereotypical role

Another fact is that Olivia certainly represents for the ladies! She represents an authenticity that is unparalleled to any other show starring a black woman that I’ve ever seen. Additionally, she shines with such regal realness in every scene which leaves viewers like, “Well, damn Liv!”

Olivia’s presence is so powerful. We need her on there moving and shaking through DC. We need more women of color on major television shows period! Olivia cannot be our only example, although she is a damn good one. Little girls, teen girls, and real woman with or without color need to see themselves as powerful, regal, and in control of their lives like Liv. Just look at her: olivia-pope-scandal-kerry-washington

Too often we hear all of the negatives attributed to women, and in the age of reality TV we sometimes can get the WRONG ideals of what it really means to be a lady, to be professional, to be beautiful without showing all of your body, to handle situations without a brawl and throwing the b-word, to show oneself as multitalented and to be damn good at what we do that doesn’t involve sex, money, drugs, or being fame hungry!

Shonda sure can write! But, Shonda wasn’t the only one gifted with this talent. You might have it in you to write the next great show starring a leading lady of color. Not sure if I have it in me. But, I have always dreamed of having my own television network for women of color that had programming just for us. A show like Scandal would be on the line up. But, would people even watch?

People have been so accustomed to shows like Basketball Wives that a network with regal woman doing real things in a positive way may not make the cut. It may be too boring! At least this is what viewers say in regards to positive programming on BET that consistently gets very low ratings!

realityaired.comBasketball Wives LA
Basketball Wives LA

When will we break out of this World Star Hip Hop mentality where it is okay to be a basketball wife with no husband, or in a street brawl that is posted on the internet, or even put others down just to obtain 15 seconds of fame on TV. All of that nonsense is ignorance at its best. This seems more like the show is running you versus you running your own show.

Real living comes from knowing who you are and owning that. Olivia Pope is my definition of a regal realness woman who rocks all that she got. She knows she is worthy, but she is not perfect…none of us are. Although the show is entertainment (just like the others mentioned) what we choose to feed ourselves on a daily basis it what we become. I choose to be Ms. Pope any day over the other nonsense I see. More women of color on the little and big screens is needed, necessary and long overdue!

SignatureWhat do you think?


  1. I agree Scandal sets the pace for a TV show written by and starring women of colour. In the UK we are still lucky if we see positive examples of black people in TV programmes. The likes of Jerry Springer spawned all those fish bowl reality TV shows whee the more outrageous you are, the higher the viewing figures. I don’t watch any of them.

    I’d love to see more serious, well written dramas like Scandal with people of colour leading the way.

    • I’d love to see more serious well written dramas like Scandal as well. Hopefully, the day is coming soon. Shout out to Shonda Rhimes for changing the face of primetime TV!