Shonda Rhimes, a black executive producer and creator of ABC’s hit show Scandal, has stamped her mark on black America.
Infused with rich dialect, feverish twists and steamy tension, this thriller premiered April 15, 2012 and is well into its second season. Scandal has left an enduring sour taste in the mouths of black citizens, drooling to share their sanity with family and peers. Hypothetically speaking, she has given an image to the “strong black woman.” Not taking “no” for an answer, standing up to officials and fixing everyone’s problems but her own, Kerry Washington who plays the character of Olivia Pope, has put hope back into the hearts of black women and scared away the weak, adolescent black men–76.21 percent of black men to be exact, according to Clutch Magazine’s Kirsten West Savali.
“But these anti-Scandal black men are a wily bunch. Oh yes they are. They realized that they couldn’t continue to post pictures of Kim Kardashian on Monday, quote Little Wayne talking ‘bet that bitch look better red’ on Tuesday, break down all the reasons why white women stay #winning on Wednesday then complain about a black woman in love with a white man on Thursday,” said Savali.
Forgetting that Scandal is a television show, the reactions from viewers across the nation has sparked racial stereotypical topics within the black community; couples turning against each other, fighting to see whose ego is bigger. Personally, who cares? The sole purpose of this show is based on a real life crisis manger, Judy Smith, and the fluff (the love affair) is to entertain. Meaning to amuse the viewer. To hold attention. To divert. Not to cause disunity within a family or between a black man and black woman. In The New York Times, an article entitled, “A Show Makes Friends and History: ‘Scandal’ on ABC is Breaking Barriers,” the writer Tanzina Vega quotes a conversation between Olivia and Fitz, the white president whom she is having an affair with, explaining the intentions of Rhimes for Olivia and attempts to answer the question, is Olivia Pope a black super woman?
“Olivia, discussing their relationship, tells him, ‘I’m feeling a little Sally Hemings-Thomas Jefferson about all this.’ Later Fitz confronts Olivia and tells her that the comment was ‘below the belt’.”
“You’re playing the race card on the fact that I’m in love with you,” he says.
Those who are unaware of what “Sally Hemings- Thomas Jefferson” is, to give you clarity, they are characters from the television miniseries “Sally Hemings: An American Scandal,” exploiting a 38 year love affair between Thomas Jefferson and a slave, Sally Hemings. They eventually have children and grandchildren which, in return, causes this huge controversy. Consequently, as a viewer or a fan of such a powerful, highly saturated, mind blowing, addictive show that Scandal is, one must censor what influences them or modify what pushes them to be who they are. Shonda Rhimes was clever to insert the dialog between Olivia and Fitz about their relationship into the show because, as Americans, we are exposed to a number of polluted situations just through television alone, and get carried away with race and status, but we must realize that these shows should not be a weight to make judgments in our own lives or about others.
Keep this quote in mind by John Locke. “We are like chameleons; we take our hue and the color of our moral character from those who are around us.”