Seriously? OMG! WTF? » Imagine Connie Britton as Scandal’s Olivia Pope
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[ # ] Imagine Connie Britton as Scandal’s Olivia Pope
April 11th, 2017 under Shonda Rhimes

On Thursday, Scandal will celebrate its 100th episode, but would it have gotten there if someone other than Kerry Washington was playing the lead? The show’s creator Shonda Rhimes opened up to The Hollywood Reporter and revealed the network was fixated on someone else for the role of Olivia Pope.

Rhimes wanted an Africa-American in the role, like the real life person it is based on, but ABC wanted someone White. Well, particularly one actress. Rhimes told the trade, “Nothing felt more important than the sense of outsiderness. I didn’t know that there hadn’t been a drama series with a leading black woman for 37 years. When the show got picked up [to pilot], I got a phone call from somebody who said, ‘This would be the perfect show for Connie Britton.’ I said, ‘It would be, except Olivia Pope is Black.'”

Then Casting Director Linda Lowry chimed in and added, “The network was reading us their top choices, and it was Connie and all White women. I panicked. Somebody finally piped up, ‘We’re going to have to redo this list.'” That list got redone and Kerry Washington, Jill Scott and Anika Noni Rose all read for the part. Lowry said that as soon as Rhimes met Washington, she had her Pope and the rest is TV history.

Even though, I no longer watch Scandal, I know the show would not still not be on the air if Britton had been given the role. She doesn’t have that fighter, tough-as-nails spirit that Washington has that makes the show what it is.

What do you think the network’s decision wanting to cast Britton in the role?



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