I believe some folks hate Scandal because the main character is a successful Black woman who defies every stereotype of who a Black woman is supposed to be. The character of Olivia Pope is smart successful, elegant, worked for a Republican administration and she is in love and sleeping with a successful powerful White man. That image is powerful.
Image via a general internet search.
The big shock is that contrary to the myth that a White man only wants her for sex (as if there aren’t any Black men like that lol) in this show a White man actually loves and adores her. Why do I think this the case? Think about the silly comparisons to Thomas Jefferson and Sally Hemings. When I heard that comparison I was astounded because Sally Hemings was a slave who had no rights and no choice. Open a history book. The character of Olivia Pope is a working woman who answers to no one but herself. Then I realized who was complaining. Hmp!.
What scares a lot of people who are invested in the state of perpetual victimization of Black women is that this show shows that Black women can expand their dating pool. That Black women can be successful, beautiful and loved. That Black women can put their self interests first. That Black women can be powerful and that Black women can have reciprocal relationships with powerful allies and confidants beyond the confines of the Black community.
If Olivia Pope had a partner who was a struggling Black male she would be seen as a strong Black woman who was lifting a brother up. If she was habitually single and searching for a Black king the folks against Scandal would love it. Don’t talk to me about that Black love stuff because even when there was a show with a well educated Black couple like the Cosby show people were against that too. The folks against Scandal are quick to call the maid, the mammy, the poor mom, the crack head, the video vixen, the reality show star, and big momma who is struggling to make ends meet, taking care of her extended family, is stereotypical or is endlessly looking for Black love real. They are mad that a Black woman, Shonda Rimes, the person who created and writes the show, cannot be pigeon holed and hasn’t conformed to their definition of the Black womanhood. Crazy right? Well for those who benefit from the state of perpetual victimization of Black women it is a scary thought that a TV show could influence their meal ticket, meaning Black women, enough to start charging for services rendered or saying no mas to mule behavior.
I have heard others say how come there aren’t any shows with Black men? I want to know where you have been. There have been many shows that have had Black male leads. Some Black male leads include Damon Waynes, D. L. Hughley, Bernie Mack (RIP), Martin Lawrence, Dave Chappelle, Taye Diggs, Bill Cosby, Ice Cube, all things Tyler Perry, Don Cheadle, Will Smith, Dennis Haysbert, and countless others. This is the first time in 40 years that a Black woman has had a lead on a major network. In fact, unlike the Black men who do not watch Scandal, Black women do support shows and movies created by and starring Black men. For those who say there are no shows for Black men I say go turn on BET. That station shows your image every single day. Your hyper masculine image dominates and sadly defines Blackness in the form of Black entertainment. In fact, female entertainers have to emulate strippers and porn stars and skin bleach because you have the keys to the industry.
For those complaining about the morals of Scandal let me let you in on a little secret. It’s a soap opera that is no different from any other soap opera. Not once did I hear complaints about how shows that star White women always feature an episode where the main character has a roll in the hay with a Black man. It is then that the White woman has her coming of age moment. See Sex in the City, The New Adventures of New Irene and others. On these shows the White woman never marries the Black man but she finds herself in the process. So who is being used? I guess for White women and Black men that is empowering.
Whelp if you don’t like Scandal don’t be a part of the eight million that do. I will be watching on Thursday with my red wine, robe and big fluffy slippers along with millions of others who loves seeing a Black woman who does not fit into your box.