#Scandal: I Know That Olivia Pope Isn't Perfect; It's Part Of The Reason I Love Her

It irks me that people (usually black men) keep saying that black women shouldn't love Olivia Pope because she is flawed. "Flawed" in this case usually equals "having an affair with a white guy". They don't realize it, but the concentrated hate that they hold for her is steeped in a very specific kind of racialized misogyny. Walter White was no hero, but somehow we managed to love him. Dexter was a serial killer and yet, we lauded him too. What do they have in common? You guessed it. Men. White men. Who also happened to be anti-hero characters whose virtues were valued alongside their flaws. But I'm going to set that aside for now.

I'm a black woman and I LOVE Scandal. I am not blind to Olivia's flaws. I love her because she has flaws. 

Black women are so severely underrepresented in media that Kerry Washington's role has garnered a considerable amount of attention simply because she is a black woman in a lead role of a network television show. And because she remains the only black female lead on primetime (Megan Good's Deception unfortunately didn't get picked up for a second season) she is expected to be everything for everybody. But Aunty Shonda rebukes your bullshit notions of black respectability, and instead, has created Olivia Pope as a fully fleshed out person. She is neither completely good nor completely evil; neither stark black nor brilliant white. Olivia Pope is a beautiful mix of all the eternal shades of grey. She is composed of both light and dark. She is often morally ambiguous. Like a real person.

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