All Articles Tagged "scandal"

The Breakup Of Olitz: When Having A Man Causes You To Lose Yourself

November 20th, 2015 - By Veronica Wells
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Source: ABC

Source: ABC

I just have to be real. For the past season and a half, “Scandal” has not had the same allure to me. I know I’m not the only one who feels the same way. I just so happen to tweet for MadameNoire during the show and I saw how the response and reaction to the show went from boiling hot to less than lukewarm, damn near cold.

But I kept tweeting. Partially because I was desperately hoping it would come back around and also because I wanted to see how much further Fitz and Olivia could go. Frankly, the back and forth the two of them go through was working my very last nerve. Week after week, I rooted for Olivia to get her mind right and go ahead and be with Jake, decent man–or as decent as they come on that show–who loved her.

But the heart wants what it wants and Olivia’s heart wanted Fitz.

And personally, I couldn’t stand it.

You might think I had a moral conflict with their adulterous love affair. But that wasn’t it. One, I never thought Fitz was of sound moral character and their dreams of being together were just that, dreams…of the pipe variety.

So, needless to say, the last few weeks of the show, watching Olivia admit, in front of television cameras, to sleeping with the president, seeing Mellie sign divorce papers and be callously thrown out of her own house only to have Olivia moved in, deeply irritated me.

Despite all their wishing and hoping and thinking and praying, I knew from the season 1 of “Scandal” that there was just no feasible way for Fitz and Olivia to be together and be simultaneously happy.

Last night, both Fitz and Olivia realized this. And while I’m sure Team Olitz mourned the ending of their relationship, I rejoiced.

In the same way you rejoice when your homegirl finally realizes the man she’s been going back and forth with since high school is just no good (for her or just generally speaking).

All the signs have been there. But it wasn’t until Olivia got a taste of what she’d always wanted that she realized, nah.

Olivia who was introduced to us as a bawse was looking like a shadow of herself running elusive cookie recipes all over Washington D.C. while Mellie hosted a 16 hour filibuster that stopped the senate from potentially defunding Planned Parenthood. That’s the type of change Olivia is known for, but being with Fitz doesn’t afford her those type of luxuries.

And what’s so interesting is that all this time, Olivia and Fitz both acted like Mellie was always underfoot, scheming and naive. They never acknowledged her sacrifices unless they were getting ready to ask her for another favor. It wasn’t until Olivia got a chance to live Mellie’s life that she felt herself shrinking into irrelevancy.

Last night, was the first time in the show’s history that they really talked about the ways in which Fitz selfishly manipulates everyone–man and woman alike– in his life to keep himself soothed and in power. Instead of having a discussion with Olivia about how he really felt about her releasing Daddy Pope from prison, instead he moved her into the White House without asking her whether she wanted this or not. She didn’t. But as it often is with Fitz, it wasn’t about her, it was about him. It’s always about him.

And as such, Olivia never really understood all that Mellie had to sacrifice to keep Fitz content. She was the one who had to deal with the alcoholic, the quick-tempered, mean spirited, neglectful man. Meanwhile Olivia got the thrill-seeking, “we can do it anywhere,” romantic who went to war in order to rescue her and was always full of sweet-sounding but empty promises. And that’s cute…I guess. But it’s not anything anyone can hold on to in the real world. Last night, when Fitz told Olivia that she only wanted him when he was unavailable, she responded perfectly, “I don’t know you available.”

Whew Jesus!

Truer words have never been spoken.

People love to write “Scandal” off as some type of beacon of hope for side chick’s around the world. But I’ve never seen it as such. Olivia has never been happy in her relationship status. She was always hiding, always running scared, thinking she might be exposed. She couldn’t step out in the street and hold her man’s hand. She went to an empty apartment at night and drank wine when she really wanted to live in a house in Vermont and make jam. Homegirl was in constant pain not being able to be with the man she loved. And sadly enough, the man she loved just wasn’t the right one. Because when she finally got a chance to give their relationship a shot, she realized she would have to sacrifice the only thing that’s fulfilled her and given her purpose in D.C., her job.

This is not about women not being able to have it all. This is about Olivia not being able to have it all with that particular man. It was ill fated from jump street.

And as fictional as Olivia and Fitz’s lives are, watching that breakup scene was like watching so many of our lives, including my own, play out on the television screen. Sometimes we’re so busy and so dead set on having a man that we don’t realize what we’re sacrificing to get him. And hopefully, we realize, like Olivia, that having him is not worth losing yourself.

The Black And White Of Interracial Relationships On TV

November 13th, 2015 - By Desiree Bowie
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Source: Shutterstock

Source: Shutterstock

Recently, there’s been some controversy surrounding the depiction of interracial relationships as seen in popular TV shows like Aziz Ansari’s Master of None, Mindy Kaling’s The Mindy Project, and a lot of Shonda Rhimes’s shows, including Grey’s Anatomy, Scandal, and How to Get Away with Murder.

While people are thrilled to finally see people who look like them on TV, many wonder why so many of these shows feature characters exclusively pining for and dating White men and women?

Since The Mindy Project debuted in the fall of 2012, many people have called Kaling into question about the lack of diversity on and behind the scenes of her show. On the program, Kaling plays Mindy Lahiri, a charming ob/gyn who is looking for love straight out of a rom-com. Lahiri exclusively lusts after and dates White men and is surrounded by a predominantly White cast of characters. People quickly noticed this and called Kaling out, and she responded to the backlash by going on the defensive. In a 2013 interview with Entertainment Weekly, Kaling stated, “Do people really wonder on other shows if female leads are dating multicultural people? Like I owe it to every race and minority and beleaguered person. I have to become the United Nations of shows?”

Aziz Ansari, the popular comedian from NBC’s Parks & Recreation, recently premiered the first season of his semi-autobiographical comedy series, Masters of None, on Netflix. The show is being lauded for showcasing the unique experiences and points of view of South Asians, Black women, Taiwanese men and their parents. But on the show, Ansari’s character, Dev, is a twentysomething looking for love, and it appears he can only find it with White women. While Ansari manages to tell an engaging story with underrepresented minorities, his character specific interest in White women brings his progressive edge to a halt.

And over in Shondaland, we have watched Olivia Pope ping-pong between Jake and Fitz for several seasons, leading many fans of color to question Rhimes’s fixation with mostly Black and White interracial romances. A brief dalliance between Pope and the extremely frigid senator, Edison Davis, was the character’s only foray into the land of Black men (her involvement with Brian White’s Franklin Russell was just a brief sexual relationship) and it ended with her back in the arms of the White love of her life. Some celebrate the fact that a powerful Black woman is depicted in a relationship with a powerful White man on network TV, as these images have never been seen in this light.  Others wonder why Rhimes’s characters rarely date any other people of color (aside from the relationship of Dr. Cristina Yang and Dr. Preston Burke on Grey’s Anatomy). From Private Practice to HTGAWM‘s Annalise Keating to a bevy of doctors from Seattle Grace, there does seem to be a pattern: Many Shondaland characters are a part of interracial relationships, but most of those relationships are between POCs and White people.

And ABC’s shows feature more interracial relationships than any other network. Their newest hit drama Quantico focuses on Alex Parrish, an Indian woman and FBI recruit, who is romantically involved with one of her fellow trainees, a White man. Even the character of a young Eddie Huang, the Chinese pre-teen from Fresh Off the Boat, exclusively crushes on White girls.

There is absolutely nothing wrong with interracial dating/love/marriage. It is a sign of our times that this type of love can be shown in a positive light on network TV. But one question hangs in the air:

Why have White people become the default race for the love interest of characters of color on TV?

Is it because the network demands that White people be featured in some romantic capacity so the White viewing public can find someone to connect with? Are those behind Master of None scared that if Ansari dated another South Asian then people wouldn’t be able to connect with it? That if Olivia Pope fell in love with a Black man then it would become a Black show, and they would lose their audience? Or is it because the show’s creators have their own preferences and they call the shots? But what message is it conveying when these shows exclude the possibility of interracial relationships with their POC leads and Latinos, Asians, and Middle Easterners?

In the end, these decisions are made by the people in charge of these shows. They are free to cast anyone they’d like as love interests for their characters. But there is no denying that there is an obvious pattern when it comes to their casting choices. Since there only a handful of shows on network television that feature POC as leads, and are led by people of color, the showrunners shouldn’t be surprised that they have to answer to certain expectations from viewers who look like them. While they may not like being questioned about their decisions for their work, they should know that as long as the pattern continues, people will continue to call them out about it.


Boxer In Gay Porn Scandal Says He Was Drugged…Here’s Why We Should Hear Him Out

October 28th, 2015 - By Charing Ball
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Source: Twitter

Source: Twitter

It’s one of those stories that, on the surface, rings a little bizarre.

Okay it is definitely bizarre…

‎Yusaf Mack, a 35-year-old middleweight boxer from Philadelphia, was caught in a porn scandal involving two other men. The self-professed “whoremonger” who also has 10 children and is set to be married to a woman, tells Jenice Armstrong with the Philadelphia Daily News that he “loves females.” He also says that there is a perfectly valid reason for all of this: he was drugged.

As reported by Armstrong:

“Mack’s saga began earlier this year. Someone reached out to him on Facebook and asked if he would be willing to be in a porn flick. Since he was short on cash, Mack decided to do it.

Sometime in June – he can’t recall exactly when – Mack boarded a train to New York City and made his way to an address in the Bronx. Once inside the apartment where the filming was to take place, he noticed a number of naked women walking around.

“I think, ‘It’s about to go down.’ I needed a drink or something,” Mack told me over the phone. “They gave me a pill and a shot of vodka. I took the pill down with the vodka.”

The next thing he can recall is being on a train at 30th Street Station and someone telling him to wake up.

“I don’t remember getting on the train,” he told me.

But Mack did later notice that he had $4,500 tucked inside his pocket.”

Mack tells Armstrong that he only learned what really happened to him after a friend pulled him aside and confessed that he, as well as much of West Philly, had seen snippets of the porn, which is currently floating around social media.

The boxer also said that he wants “to go after whoever it was that got him into this predicament.” But he can’t remember many pertinent details, like who hired him, who drugged him or even the password to his Facebook account (Mack also told Armstrong that the “Facebook page that he met his porn contact through is inaccessible because he forgot his password”).

He also adds:

“I’m just hurt right now…I can’t really sleep at night, but I’m getting by. . . . Everybody thinks I’m going to hurt myself. I’ve got to stay strong for my children.”

Crazy story, right? Or is it…

I will admit that Mack’s story doesn’t pass the smell test – more on that later. However it does present a good opportunity to talk about the preconceived notions many of us have about a man’s ability to be a victim of sexual assault.

And yes, if what Mack is alleging is true, this was an assault.

Yet, sexual assault that happens to men is often mocked. Or it is looked at as punishment for some other misgiving. Like whenever we joke about prison rape. Very rarely is it treated as a legitimate issue.

This was the case when earlier this year The Huffington Post ran a story about sexual assault against men on college campuses and how those stories are often ignored by not only the administrations at these institutions, but the media itself.

Yet, as reported in the article, a study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, has revealed that “of 5,000 college students at over 130 colleges, one in 25 men answered “yes” to the question ‘In your lifetime have you been forced to submit to sexual intercourse against your will?”

Likewise, other statistics suggest that while 10 percent of reported sexual assaults in the United States, involve men, most sexual assaults go unreported. The reason, according to the website for the Florida Council Against Sexual Assault:

Men and boys are often reluctant to report the crime of sexual assault, or to seek services, because they feel humiliated, shamed or confused by the crime or because they feel that seeking help will make them feel vulnerable or weak. Anyone who has been the victim of a sexual assault needs compassion, sensitivity and caring, and male victims may also have special needs to consider.”

All of this to say that if Mack had been sexually assaulted, this is no laughing matter.

If he had been a victim, it is possible that the reason he had not come forward sooner was out of shame and embarrassment. I mean could you imagine telling that story to your spouse, extended family and friends or even the police? And more importantly, could you imagine the self-blame? After all the stigma is that only gay men can be sexually assaulted.

But rape is about power and control and predators tend to pick people, regardless of sexual orientation, who are vulnerable. And there is nothing more vulnerable than a man hard up for cash.

That’s if his version of events are true.

Since this story has hit the papers (and the Internet), Twitter has produced more evidence that this is not Mack’s first gay porn production. Still, this is also problematic as well. Currently, his twitter mentions are filled with all sorts of homophobic slurs and threats against his life.

If he is lying, shame on him for exploiting rape and for making it a lot harder for men who have been victimized. But even if he is lying, we have to stop shaming people who have yet to come to terms with their own sexual orientations. Not only does it not help them embrace their true selves, it also sends a message to other men who might be watching, and who have been victimized, to feel less secure in speaking out about what’s happened to them.


Am I The Only One Who Can’t Stand Fitzgerald Grant?

September 25th, 2015 - By Veronica Wells
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Image Source: ABC

Image Source: ABC

I’ve been over Fitz for at least two seasons now. But every time I watch a new episode of “Scandal” where the President speaks outside of his official capacity, my soul gets weary.

I wanted, more than anything, for Olivia and Jake Ballard to be together forever. But you know the heart wants what it wants. And it’s really unfortunate that Olivia wants Fitz so badly. Because not only is their relationship completely unrealistic, homeboy displays some characteristics that should leave quite women shaking in their boots.

The man is no good y’all!

And I know we’re talking about “Scandal” here, no one is all that “good” on this show. They all have their own unique capacity for evil. But there’s something about Fitz pretending to be holy when he’s so far from it that just makes my skin crawl.

I get it. Fitz has had a rough life. His Daddy didn’t love him the right way, he’s “trapped” in a loveless marriage. He lost a child and he can’t be with the woman he loves.

But every last person on that show has problems. Major ones. Yet, Fitz is the only one who consistently tries to act like he’s never done anything wrong, like the victim in his own life story. Whenever things get rough for him the first person he blames is a woman in his life. Usually, it’s Mellie but when he found out Olivia had agreed to rig the election in Defiance, Ohio, he stopped speaking to her too.

Fitz is always talking to Mellie like a dog and last night was no different. After supporting him for years, riding with his affairs, (Don’t get it twisted. It’s not just Olivia.) birthing his children, and then having to bury one of them, it was Olivia who had to convince him to be there to support his wife. And instead of giving her at least a day to celebrate the moment, he immediately starts hurling jabs.

He threatened Mellie saying that if she doesn’t sign divorce papers, he’ll let the whole world know all the dirt that she’s done. For the life of me, I can’t understand why Fitz keeps throwing the jurors in Mellie’s face when he has caused his own fair share of death, crashing a plane full of people, sending soldiers to die in a war to get Olivia back and even snuffing out that old lady when she threatened to tell the world his whole presidency was a shame.

Fitz loves to pretend that he has been forced into this predicaments by others, painted into a corner. But I’ve yet to see him take responsibility for his own actions and admit, once and for all, that, for all the pain and drama its caused, he thoroughly enjoys the power and prestige that comes with being President of the United States.

Instead, he mentions the jurors again, as if she knowingly killed those people. And in doing so, he took time out to insult her even further. He was sure to tell her how he despised her and then, after she willingly gave up her career to support his political aspirations, told her:

“Your biggest accomplishment so far is waving and smiling.”

Like, why?

While I absolutely believe should sign them papers and be about the business of shaking things up in D.C., I cannot understand why Fitz is so mean and nasty to her. At the end of the day, despite their differences, Mellie has never done anything to intentionally hurt Fitz. She birthed his children and was always there in the rare moments that he decided he would try to be a good husband.

So why the attitude?

I know Olivia is not often privy to these conversations, but if she were, I wonder how she would feel about it.

If I were her, I’d be terrified.

There’s no guarantee that IF Fitz and Olivia get to be together that they’ll last forever and always. We often forget that Fitz did love Mellie at one point. And if he could speak to the woman he once loved like that, God only knows how he’ll speak to Olivia when things go sour. Bottom line, Fitz is a punk. The only time he steps up is when he’s talking down to a woman, speaking to a subordinate, or beating up a man who’s tied to a chair.

He works my very last nerve.

Props to Tony Goldwyn, the real man who plays this character. I’m not an actor but I imagine it’s much harder to play a man viewers love to hate rather than one they simply adore.

What do you think about Fitzgerald Grant? Are you here for him? Do you think he and Olivia should be together?

Spoiler Alert! Everything We Know About Scandal Season 5

September 24th, 2015 - By Meg Butler
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Image Source: ABC

Image Source: ABC

Can’t wait for the next season of Scandal to air on September 24th? Here’s everything we know so far about Scandal season 5.

Shonda Rhimes On Scandal’s “Lawn Chair” Episode: I Thought It Would Feel Dated, “Then The Police Just Kept Killing Black Men”

September 24th, 2015 - By Jazmine Denise Rogers
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Shonda Rhimes

Judy Eddy/WENN

I wasn’t the most loyal gladiator last season, but I did manage to catch “The Lawn Chair” episode, which was inspired by the tragic 2014 killing of Michael Brown. According to “Scandal” executive producer Shonda Rhimes, the idea for the episode came to her in a vision the morning after Brown’s death.

“I woke up knowing that we were going to go write ‘The Lawn Chair’ after Ferguson,” Rhimes told Elle. “I watched that coverage and was horrified. I woke up the next morning with this image of this man, of a lawn chair and a shotgun and a child underneath him. The episode came out of that.”

Brown was shot in August, and the episode was filmed in October or November, which made Rhimes concerned that the episode would “feel dated” when it aired. Unfortunately, police violence against Black men only continued.

“We shot that episode in October or November. I remember thinking, ‘This is going to feel dated when it comes out.’ And then the police just kept killing Black men.”

Ironically, the Justice Department’s explosive report on the Ferguson Police Department was released the day before the episode was set to air in March.

“Literally the [day before] it aired, they released the Ferguson Report, and it was worse than the press had ever thought,” said Rhimes.

The television executive also discussed how much thought went into the tiniest details of that episode—including comments made about lead character Olivia Pope’s “black card.” She explains:

“That episode was very interesting for us because Zahir McGhee, whose name is on the episode, [and] I basically wrote it together. He really did a good job with it, but [we] couldn’t be from more different worlds: He wanted Marcus to have attended a Black college, and I didn’t want him to—I thought it meant something different. It was just a giant battle that we waged about every detail because [McGhee] was a young black man from Baltimore, and I grew up a lot like Olivia Pope. I was trying to explain to him, There is this weird belief from people on the outside and from people in Black communities that there is only one way to be Black. And I say it in the writers’ room all the time: My Black Is Not Your Black. What’s terrifying is that, just the same way we’ve all accepted that normal is white, everybody seems to buy into the idea that there’s only one way to be Black or one way to be Hispanic. That’s as damaging as anything else.”

Fall TV Preview: Who Got The Answers To Last Season’s Biggest Cliffhangers?

September 14th, 2015 - By Anslem Samuel Rocque
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Whether it’s the jaw-dropping cliffhangers, post-show memes on social media or just great writing, there’s something to be said for a good show, especially when it comes back from hiatus.

The fall TV season is almost upon us and there are a host of new and returning shows we’ve been anxiously anticipating. From comedies and dramas to reality shows that are a little mix of both. We’ve compiled a list of some of our favorites.

With so much great TV programming on the horizon, it’s easy to get overwhelmed with which shows to watch live or binge on later. Fortunately, with the X1 DVR™ from XFINITY®, you can record up to six shows at once, so you won’t have to miss an episode. Plus, with XFINITY On Demand™, you can catch up on entire past seasons so you’re ready for all the fall action.

TGIT Sneak Peek: Rebecca’s Killer To Be Revealed & Fitz Apparently Files For Divorce [Watch]

September 11th, 2015 - By Jazmine Denise Rogers
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With ABC’s beloved TGIT scheduled to return in a little less than two weeks, the network has finally decided to bless us with a couple of trailers to let “Scandal” and “How to Get Away with Murder” fans know what they’re in for this season.

With Rebecca dead, it seems like a major part of the HTGAWM plot this season will focus on identifying her killer and perhaps, covering up her murder.

“Now that you’ve done this, you’re a monster,” Annalise apparently screams at the killer in the 30-second teaser.

What we do know about the killer—thanks to Frank’s one-liner—is that whoever it is, had to be “strong enough” to drag the body behind the stairs.

And then, there’s “Scandal.” When we left off Fitz put Mellie out of the White House. Judging by the trailer, the new season will pick up with Olivia and Fitz having sex all up and through the White House, and Fitz apparently serving Mellie with divorce papers.

It looks like there are about to be some big changes this season.

TGIT returns to ABC Thursday, September 24.

TGIT! Shondaland Covers October Issue Of Essence Magazine

September 10th, 2015 - By Veronica Wells
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Source: Essence

Shonda Rhimes is on top. And when a Black woman’s on top, it only makes sense that Essence would feature said woman on the cover of their publication. Shonda’s appeared on the cover before. But her influence and effect on the industry warrants more than just one cover. So Essence honored her with six for the October issue. But it’s not just Shonda, it’s all of the Black actors and actresses she’s put on during her reign.

The covers feature actors and actresses from “Grey’s Anatomy,” “How To Get Away With Murder,” and “Scandal.”

Check out the covers and some excerpts from the upcoming article on the following pages.

Olivia And Mellie Look Like Sister Wives On EW Cover

September 3rd, 2015 - By Jazmine Denise Rogers
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“Scandal” returns to ABC later this month, and the cast has already begun making their press rounds. We have no idea what direction the storyline will take this season, but if the September 11 Entertainment Weekly cover serves as an indicator, things are about to get extremely interesting.

Kerry Washington, Tony Goldwyn and Bellamy Young are closer than close in one of the four cover shots for this issue, with Young resting her head on Washington’s shoulder and Washington draping her leg across Goldwyn’s shoulder.

“What’s next for America’s sexiest first couple throuple,” the cover’s tagline playfully reads.

While we don’t see Mellie and Olivia ever consenting to jump completely out of the window and begin playing sister wives, stranger things have happened in Shondaland.

TGIT season premieres begin Thursday, September 24.

James White for EW

James White for EW

James White for EW

James White for EW