So I caught the Melissa Harris-Perry show last week on MSNBC and really enjoyed many of the segments that were featured. She and her panelists spoke on voter disfranchisement in North Carolina, the women’s NCAA Tournament, and the use of language in regards to the immigration debate here in the U.S, among other things.
It was the discussion on the ABC hit show “Scandal” that really caught my attention. Not so much that I’m a regular viewer (I haven’t watched “Scandal” in more than a year) but the makeup of MHP’s panel was striking in that it was entirely made up of black women. The panel consisted of Janet Mock, Andrea Plaid, Heather McGhee, and Joy-Ann Reid. In more than 20 years of watching TV on a fairly regular basis, I don’t ever recall seeing a panel featuring just black women on a major news network. Hat tip to Melissa Harris-Perry and MSNBC.
Kerry Washington is bringing style and substance in a new ABC drama that’s redefining the faces we see on television.
In her new hit TV show “Scandal,” Washington plays lawyer/crisis management strategist Olivia Pope. Pope is inspired by the real-life career of Washington insider Judy Smith. Smith played a key role in providing feedback and guidance for the Shonda Rhimes led series.
From the first few episodes I’ve seen so far, “Scandal” comes off as sharp, slick and leaving the viewer wanting more. You really feel like your one of the “gladiators in suits,” as the show takes you through an unfolding crisis as Pope and her team work to prevent it from becoming a full blown public relations nightmare.
What is also interesting about this show is that black women are at the front and center of it. The creator is a black woman, the lead actress is a black woman, and the show’s inspiration comes from a black woman. In fact, Washington is the first black women to star in a drama on network television in more than 30 years. Considering the fact that we’ve had an African-American First Lady for the last three years, it seems about time that women of color get more leading roles on TV.