In Defense Of Fitz: Why We Should Cut Scandal’s POTUS Some Slack

March 22, 2013  |  

Like most “Scandal” addicts, I’ve been more than a little shocked by Fitz’s behavior since he found out about the election rigging scheme. But unlike those who quit #TeamFitz as soon as he started acting fresh, I still support our nation’s fictional president and feel that in light of the circumstances, his actions are understandable and possibly even justified. Let me explain.

Clearly, Fitz hiring Jake to spy on Olivia by video and then telling Jake that “Olivia is not a good person” and “not who she seems” is shady. Obviously, making Liv feel like a two-bit slore with the “I may not be able to control my erections around you, but that does not mean I want you” line after he ravished her in a closet was neither classy nor respectful, but a recap of recent events should provide some insight into Fitz’s state of mind.

Fitz is a man of ethics and integrity. Yes, I say this despite the fact that he’s having an extramarital affair that is technically immoral but in practical terms, less so. Let’s not forget that Fitz is stuck in a dead marriage — one that died long before he met Olivia — and Olivia is the love of his life. If he was a normal civilian and not the leader of the free world, he would have already left Mellie, and after recovering from the attempt on his life, he did, indeed, ask the scheming chatterbox for a divorce.

So, extramarital affair with extenuating circumstances aside, Fitz has proven himself to be a man of honesty and honor in a political world crawling with liars and two-faced snakes. While he’s not above arm-twisting Vice President Sally Langston to achieve his political aims, he rejected every opportunity to dig up dirt on his opponents during his presidential campaign and instead chose to keep things above board. When his father wanted him to take the sleazy route and reveal damaging information about the Democratic challenger during a debate, Fitz instead sought to strengthen his relationship with voters by revealing a more vulnerable side of himself. He repeatedly states that he entered politics to try to help people, and often questions if politics is the most effective way to do so. In nearly every professional situation, Fitz has chosen the high road in a realm where that road is usually the one less traveled.

So imagine the devastation of a man who has tried to build his career on integrity and lofty ideals only to find out that his entire presidency is a lie, the result of a scheme perpetrated by the people he trusted most — his chief of staff, his wife and the love of his life. Imagine the guilt of a man who then chose to murder the person who could have exposed the entire secret, the person who was also responsible for trying to have him assassinated.

In a single day, President Fitzgerald Grant found out that he’s not really the president, he learned that the people he trusts most — including the love of his life — deceived him and the rest of the country in a grand scheme to steal the nation’s highest office, he discovered that the person who tried to have him killed was someone he considered a friend, and he became a murderer. One can see why that might have an effect on a person’s psyche and make them — oh, I don’t know — drink a lot and say hurtful things.

Ten months after learning the truth, Fitz is still downing scotch in a hot shower while looking like the most miserable man on the planet. It’s safe to say that he has been destroyed, and this week’s episode only confirms that fact. Fitz told Olivia on the phone, “You ruined me,” and Olivia responded, “I’m ruined.” The two people who declared they’d wait for each other, who watch for each other, and whose every emotion is controlled by the look on the other’s face, have been reduced to early morning booze sessions and swimming laps to drown their sorrows. It’s as if Olivia cheated on Fitz, but with every single person in the country.

So let’s cut the fake POTUS some slack and acknowledge that while his behavior isn’t kind or admirable, it’s to be expected. Fitz is a man who has lost the love of his life, but most of all lost his sense of self. He is disillusioned, angry and racked with guilt. Everything he once believed has turned out to be a lie, and he doesn’t know who he can trust. Don’t hate him because he talks greasy and hired a guy to video-stalk Olivia. He’s a man whose soul has been shattered.

Lauren Carter is a writer and editor based in Boston. Connect with her on Twitter @ByLaurenCarter or visit her blog at

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  • This whole mellie is terrible thing is absurd. All she ever did was love a man who didn’t deserve it. I’d give my right boob for a single person who loved me as much as Mellie loves him. She may be awful, but he does the mother of his children dirty. His whole I’m so lost and confused thing is getting old too. For some reason this unworthy man inspired enough loyalty & belief in his team that they rigged an election for him. Boo hoo, things are so tough.

  • blonde

    teamfitz!! he has been shot almost died…..

  • Fraud

    Nothing like an unethical website talking about ethics.

  • He has had enough time to get it together damn! Fitz thinks the big boom happened with Defiance, the big BOOM will happen when he realizes he sent the wolf (Jake) after his Sexual Chocolate (Liv) and because Fitz has Liv so F’ed up with what’s happened between them, she’s not on her game and doesn’t see the wolf coming!
    Shonda, needs to fix this mess man, I can’t take it, no Fitz & Olivia is ridic!

  • I have never been a Fitz fan. Certainly don’t see that changing.

  • Gypsy

    I think everyone is forgetting that at the end of season 1 (I think) Fitz had planned to resign his Presidency and get a divorce to be with Olivia, and Olivia betrayed him.
    She got together with Cyrus and Mellie and got him to change his mind, remember that episode when Meillie said she was taking her husband back?
    If there is one thing only, in this show’s world that Fitz love is Olivia, right now he’s feeling betrayed and ashamed to now know that he did not win the Presidency, that the American people did not really choose him, so he’s lashing out because in Olivia’s/Cyrus’s/Meillie’s eyes he sees an illegitimate President.
    Your greatest accomplishment in life and it turns out that your woman bought you that accomplishment, you didn’t earn it. – You feel shame every time she looks at you.

  • kickash

    He doesn’t have eyebrows so I don’t trust him.

  • rita

    I (given that this is fiction) don’t really care that Fitz killed Verna, but the way he treats Olivia and Mellie is downright inexcusible. I do love Scandal, but I hate how the media/internets act like everyone who loves Scandal loves Olitz. I find the love triangle drama amusing, but i can’t root Olitz. Olivia would even be better off with Jake’s crazy, stalker, Bionic Barry-esque azz.

    • Jenn

      Upvote for the Bionic Barry reference. Just don’t let Other Barry find out…

  • Bren

    He’s gone through a lot but if everyone didn’t have serious dirt, the show might be a bore. I can kind of see why he killed Verna however I don’t CONDONE it.

  • michaelderrick

    Scandal is Bed Wench Minstrel Show.

    Scandal is just the sexual fantasy of a Handkerchief headed Sista broadcast for the world to see. Someone deluded into believing that White men see Black women as attractive. The irony is that in the attempts to present a Black woman as desirable to a White Man, Scandal shows me that Black women sell themselves short. Why can’t we get a show depicting Black-on-Black love? In an age where we have a Black man in the White House married to a Black woman, why present this coonery as entertainment? Why can’t we get a show featuring a Black man and a Black woman loving and caring about each other like I grew up with? Why can’t the brothers and sisters of this generation have their own Cosby Show? Every single Black man and woman on a sitcom has a white partner and you think we should celebrate that?

    As Fanon said, colored peoples are the wretched of the Earth. Y’all are on the bottom of global society’s totem pole, Obama notwithstanding. That’s why I think you don’t have the luxury of dating outside your race. Black men and black women have a
    moral obligation to affirm the beauty, dignity, and desirability of each other because no one else does. KNOW THIS, WE ARE ALL WE GOT !!

    Black ppl are the only race of ppl that will ENCOURAGE each other outside their race….the sh!t is embarrassing and so over done!!! You will never catch an Indian man encouraging an Indian woman outside her race…wonder why that is?

    • michaelderrick

      ….One thing i have learn from this show is; how stupid black women really are ! As long as you make them feel they are the one you can get them to do anything ( including murder for you and be your side piece of Å$$ ). The funny thing is, i use to run the same game on girls as ( this white president) is runing on Olivea, when i was in high school. It is easy, all you have to do is create a lot of drama for her and tell her you really want to be with her but you can’t leave your girlfriend because things are “complected “…lmao

      • Janae(also)

        On one hand, you say that we think that white men find us desirable. It seems to really matter to you whether they do or not. Why do you are whether white men see us as attractive or not.? Then you say that we should uplift each other. So worried about how white men see black women. Let black women think whatever they want and go and get your black queen.

    • bigdede

      It sounds like you don’t consider Black women to be that attractive period. So white men don’t find Black women attractive? Black women aren’t as attractive as white women or latino women? Is that what YOU think? Black women are the most loyal women ever. You will rarely see a Black woman dating outside her race but you will see thousands of Black men snatching up every single woman of every other race to marry. So it’s not about encouraging but if Black men don’t have that same loyalty and run to women of other races, why should Black women just sit around waiting for a Black man to find Black women attractive again? Black women can date who they want of any race they want!

      • links31

        Oh shut up. my god sigh. smdh. Black woman the most loyal, what the hell about u women are loyal? In 2013 who the hell still believe that ish.

    • rita

      You sound mad. It also sounds like you don’t even watch the show. Just to comment on your last sentence, you rarely see a BM on the internet with anything other than shade for a BW/WM relationship, real or fictional, so I don’t really see a difference between us and Indians on that front.

    • Mel

      I’m a woman and I agree with some of what you’re saying, actually a lot of it. I disagree with the notion that black women are not attractive to other races, because that’s a blanket statement that’s just NOT true. But after watching a lot of ms Rhymes other shows, I have to wonder if an audience would find Fitz as compelling if he was Black. I mean why can’t she ever write for 2 Black people and why do we only see Black leads in Tyler Perry’s overdone melodramas?

      I had to stop with Scandal bec I couldn’t support the Themes that were SO central to getting invested in the characters-adultery and Godledsness. I truly think the interracial fantasy is driving about 70% of this show.

  • Fitz’s actions with him killing Judge Verna, and repeatedly treating Olivia in a disrespectful and offensive manner turned me off!…I used to root for Olitz, but I’m very skeptical and apprehensive…Liv should be happy and she deserves better than Fitz sorry to say!

  • its a womans world

    Only Scandal can make people be in favor of the president having an affair with another woman and get upset that his first lady doesnt like his mistress

    • Rae

      Say THAT! I don’t watch the show. It irritates the crap outta me!

  • I can’t help but laugh as sooooo many people are waaaay too serious about a TELEVISION SHOW! lol
    But…I do find it entertaining to watch!

  • Brooke

    Fitz from the beginning has strong armed, lied to, and manipulated Olivia to get into her good graces. From the first episode where he blatantly lied and said that he didn’t sleep with the intern, and then afterwards when he said he did it because he was lost without Liv. He is just gross and has never shown true integrity. Also in what world is it okay to stalk someone, or degrade them because your soul was shattered? Honestly, you just sound like your making excuses for an abuser – “Well he only pushed me because he was drunk. That’s not who he really is.”

    • bigdede

      People forget he slept with that intern. It doesn’t matter that she was with the vice president’s right hand man and was setting up Fitz. The thing is Fitz still slept with her and tried to make Olivia feel guilty about leaving him. Basically he blamed Olivia for him sleeping with that girl. Then after he said he had to control his erect!ons around her, that was it for me. I am a Fitz/Olivia fan but for the meantime I will put them on the shelf and cheer for Olivia to find a love that won’t act out like a little girl and not disrespect Olivia so much.

  • Guest360

    I completely agree. While me as an Olivia/Fitz fan don’t particularly like them being on the outs, I think he’s completely justified with how he’s feeling right now. And it’s not just Liv. He’s giving everyone the cold shoulder and distancing himself from even Mellie and Cyrus too. You don’t do what they did and expect the man to accept and forgive them easily. While I hate his methods of showing his pain, it’s pain nonetheless and completely justified given what they did to him. I don’t even care about killing Verna. Girl was a snake who tried to take him out to save herself from the lie she told. What’s good for the goose and all lol.

  • Beejcee

    This article is very well written and true. I love Scandal. But I will tell you this, the Fitz has been treating Cyrus and Olivia, he needs to get cussed the F out! If he comes at Cyrus wrong one more time, he probably will be cussed the F out! LOL

    • Beejcee

      I meant to say the “way” Fitz has been treating Olivia and Cyrus.

  • So he’s a murderer but you still think he’s honest and has integrity and ethics? I’d say your moral compass is definitely broken.

    • I totally agree!

      • Gypsy

        Regarding Verna – There is one thing we are forgetting, that Fitz’s action was setup a few episodes back, during the “Fitz awakening episode”, the doctor told them that the bullet in the brain damaged his impulse center, and so he should be watched for poor/impulsive decision making.
        Fitz is a sick man he has no impulse control.
        Regarding Olivia and Fitz – They love each other without control.
        He makes her weak-kneed and blind to a future without him
        She makes him crazy with love and blind to everything and everybody else.

        She will never hurt him and he will never hurt her but they will destroy everybody around them.

  • dat girl

    Um…you left out the part where Fitz killed a woman. So much for the white hat bit. I think the whole show is a beautiful construction of story of how things fall aprat. I’m a fan but don’t justisfy Fitz, Olivia or any of the characters for their ridiculous behavior. I empathize but not condone. .

    • ok

      Verna tried to kill him first!!!!

    • leilani

      she said it in paragraph 6

    • truthbtold

      @dat girl-Read paragraph 5!!!