No, I don’t watch Scandal. *shock*

kerry washington

There are a few things that will have your black woman card revoked. Bad weave isn’t one of them. Not knowing who Maya Angelou is definitely makes your status questionable. Not having watched a single episode of Scandal though, is definitely cause for a general meeting and discussion of your melano-utero status (Melano-utero is copyright of girlwiththafro, 2014).

Scandal is THE show, for obvious reasons – it’s the first primetime show starring a black woman as the lead since the 1970’s, and according to most people…well, it’s just a really good watch.

While I am a fiend for Kerry Washington’s style and can definitely spend a good amount of wasted time scrolling through Tumblr pages of her in pretty dresses – not to mention the fact that I think she’s enviously elegant and articulate,  I don’t think I’ll be watching Scandal anytime soon.

To be honest with you, I’m just not particularly interested in watching a show where it appears that one of the main focal points is that the main character is a mistress. Yes, it’s very conservative and Christian of me, but I think that when shows like this encourage empathy with people who carry out affairs, it belittles the sanctity of marriage.  And yes, I know that the marriage between Fitz and Millie is purely functional, that there’s no love there, and that Olivia told Fitz not to leave his wife. I made sure I did my research before I presented my case to you Gladiators. I know it’s fictional. And yes, I know most people separate their TV watching from what they’d actually approve of in ‘real life’, but I aspire, although I fail sometimes, to be consistent in that respect. Call me extreme, but hey – that’s what I do.

Aside from the twee stuff, I’m even less interested when the main character is a black woman who is a mistress to a wealthy, fairly unattractive white man.If the affair was at least with a hot white janitor then it would speak more to my inner not so closeted black feminist, but I feel like the whole rich white dude with black woman sidepiece thing is played out.  I mean, the whole thing just sits awkwardly with me. Why can’t we just have another Cosby show? Someone will say something at this point about Olivia being multidimensional, relatable and flawed, but frankly, we have enough ‘flawed’ representation of women, (which is a code word for ‘sexually liberated’) on television at the moment, and it’s quite frustrating that the two biggest prime time American shows with black women in the starring role (Scandal, and Being Mary Jane)have both characters sleeping with married men.

In fact, someone made a good point the other day, that if Olivia was white and Fitz was black, and married to a black woman, then black woman would NOT like this show. They. Would. Not. Like. It. And I’m usually against making blanket statements about what black women like/dislike in terms of cultural interests, but I’ll make an exception for this one. Nope, it just wouldn’t fly. So I’m simply trying to be consistent in my disapproval of glorifying adultery across the racial divide.

And that’s why I don’t watch Scandal. Ain’t that deep really, is it? What do you think? Does my analysis lack nuance? Am I not getting it because I haven’t watched it?

2 Comments

  1. October 1, 2014 / 10:47 am

    I don’t watch it either. I gave it six episodes and found it dull and forced. However maybe my expectations where set too high. I admire your reasons for not watching it and agree with them in some respect.

    I personally watch films and read books which have flawed and messed up characters in, and yes I do empathise with them… because usually I can see why they ended up, messed up. I have no clue if Scandal gives you that insight into Olivia or if the consequences of her negative actions are explored, but I think it is acceptable to have those sorts of characters in all different mediums if the full picture / story is told.

    Hope that make sense.
    Lolly

    • October 2, 2014 / 9:50 pm

      I agree with you that sometimes characters that are flawed can be positive if it encourages us to be more loving, understand the humanity of others, and in humility accept that we are all flawed people on a journey…but I guess for me, a lot of TV does that in a way that depicts the flaws as not something to be worked on, and more something to be accepted. As in ‘we’re all flawed and that’s ok’. I guess I like there to be an aspect of redemption…not necessarily a prodigal son type thing, but at least some moral judgement insinuated..haha. That sounds very Victorian.

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