People joke around about Kerry Washington taking on the character of Olivia Pope and having an affair with the real president, but that’s not a laughing matter for Kerry.
The “Scandal” star and political activist takes President Barack Obama very seriously, so much so that had her fictional love interest been African American, Kerry said she wouldn’t have accepted the role.
“I was a little concerned,” admitted Kerry in a recent Ebony interview. “I thought, ‘If the president on the show is Black, I will not do the show.’”
In the popular ABC series, Kerry’s character, Olivia Pope, engages in a scandalous affair with the White U.S. president. Kerry, who has spent time with the president and first lady Michelle, said the role wasn’t worth the risk of casting any suspicion on President Obama.
“I didn’t want to do anything that compromised my relationship with the [president] or that made it seem like I had an insider view on the Obama presidency. I thought that would be so disrespectful and so against the work that I had done,” she said.
—Tracy L. Scott