Kerry Washington: Olivia Pope Was 'Glass Slipper' For Black Actresses

Illustration for article titled Kerry Washington: Olivia Pope Was 'Glass Slipper' For Black Actresses

In an interview with The Guardian, Kerry Washington talked about auditioning for her now-iconic role in Scandal — one of remarkably few meaty, multi-faceted parts for African-American women that everyone seemed to be clamoring for.

"I read the Scandal script and I was like, 'Oh, I'm screwed. This is so good.' Then I got really scared, because I did feel like it was written for me; you know, in some divine way, this was mine. But there were 15 other actresses who felt the same. Shonda [Rimes] auditioned everyone and their mother, because for African American actresses this was the glass slipper – so she let everyone try it on."


Later, Washington is asked if she'd like to live in a post-racial world.

"I don't believe in post-racial. It's like saying we should live in a post-gender world. But I love being a woman! I am interested in living in a post-sexist world and feel the same about race. I don't want to live in a post-race world because being black is really exciting. I mean, it's who I am. I'm a woman, black, from New York, Aquarius – these are things that create who I am.

I'm interested in living in a post-racist world, where being African American doesn't dictate limitations on what I can do – but I don't want to live post-race. Our differences are so fascinating and wonderful. We don't want to all be the same. Who wants that? Hitler did, but who else?"

'Kerry Washington: Notes on a Scandal' [Guardian UK]

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I am absolutely in love with her distinction between "post-racial" and "post-racist" (and "post-gender" and "post-sexist"). And her. I'm absolutely in love with her.