New Season Of ‘Scandal’ Responds To Backlash From Black Feminist Critics

October 8, 2013  |  


From The Grio 

Yes, Scandal is back for season three. But, unlike the legions of black women who flooded my social timelines with virtual shrines commemorating the return of Olivia Pope last week, I had no intention of watching episode one when it aired Thursday on ABC.

I know what I’m about to say is going to spit in the face of those who felt that the show and Kerry Washington were robbed at the Emmys, but I was quite finished caring about Pope and all her “gladiator” antics halfway through the last season.

What used to have some semblance of a relationship to the inner workings of Washington, D.C. has totally dropped its façade and turned into The Bold and the Beautiful — a daytime soap, but at night, complete with melodramatic dialogue and cheesy music.

Folks down on Scandal and Pope — for wrong reasons

As a matter of personal taste, these sort of shenanigans about “who is sleeping with who” are not what I look for in political dramas. But on Thursday, I had a sudden change of heart, mostly spurred by the legions of other folks who don’t fancy themselves fans of the show, but for much different reasons. These folks, who also flooded my various social timelines, dislike the series out of a fear that Olivia Pope, a fictional character on ABC, has led real black women astray.

How so? Well, she is a black woman having sex. Not only is this black woman having sex, but she is doing it with a married man. And not just any married man, but a married white man to boot. She is putting all sorts of ideas into our minds about sex, and more sex – did I mention with a white man?

It’s the kind of story that challenges those who doubt black women’s desirability — and even makes some black men jealous — which is why I decided to give the series just one more shot.

I’m glad I did. I might have missed what is likely Shonda Rhimes‘ personal, poignant message to those with reservations about Pope’s character.

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