With more than 8 million viewers every Thursday night and a huge Twitter presence, Scandal is officially a hit. This year, Kerry Washington — who, as we have mentioned several times before, is the first black woman to have the lead role in a network drama since 1974 — also has a role in an Oscar-nominated film, Django Unchained. She was also in the Oscar-nominated films Ray and The Last King of Scotland. So where are her major magazine covers?
Washington has been on the covers of Essence, Ebony and Women's Health, which is great. But these are not the mainstream glossies that really confirm a celebrity has arrived. Washington was on a version of Elle's Women in Hollywood issue, but as with Octavia Spencer, Washington's cover was not on newsstands. Sarah Jessica Parker was awarded that honor.
As Monique Davis writes for Popular Critic:
Despite her popularity as ‘Olivia Pope,' audiences might not see Ms. Washington on the covers of mainstream magazines any time soon. Frankly, there is a unwritten notion that African American cover girls don't sell magazines. Outside of the seemingly superhuman icons like Beyonce, Oprah, Rihanna and Halle Berry, African American women are noticeably absent from the covers of many high profile magazines like InStyle, Elle and Vanity Fair.
Actresses like Reese Witherspoon, Heidi Klum and Mila Kunis routinely pose for the front pages of trendy leading women's magazines again and again. However, their presence doesn't automatically translate into sales for the publications. In fact, in 2011 Reese Witherspoon had one of the worst selling magazine covers of the year, along with actress Michelle Williams and pop-sensation Fergie.
Davis points out that relative newcomer Jennifer Lawrence has already been on Elle, Vogue and Glamour. Obviously Hunger Games is a giant book/movie phenomenon, like Twilight. We've noticed Ashley Greene of Twilight — not nearly as famous as Kristen Stewart, Robert Pattinson or even Taylor Lautner — has appeared on Marie Claire, Allure, Glamour — and on Cosmo twice. Where's the love for Ms. Olivia Pope? Davis asks:
Can there be more than one ‘It' girl in Hollywood? And can that ‘It' girl be African American, or Asian, or East Indian, or any race other than Caucasian?
How ‘Scandal' Star Kerry Washington can Change the Face of Magazines [Popular Critic]
Twitter helps to propel ‘Scandal' to ABC ratings gold [Chicago Sun-Times]