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Kerry Washington reflects on initial reaction to Scandal

Kerry Washington reflects on initial reaction to Scandal
© Cover Media / © Cover Media

Kerry Washington has reflected on the initial reaction to Shonda Rhimes's TV series Scandal.

During a conversation with director Patty Jenkins and composer Laura Karpman about the obstacles women face in the film industry for Elle, Washington opened up about the doubts Rhimes faced when she launched the show.

"When Shonda wrote the pilot for Scandal, everybody, including the network that aired it, called it a risk," the 47-year-old actress remembered. "Because there hadn't been a Black woman in the lead of a network drama in the last 40 years."

The Django Unchained star noted that she was offended by the way the show was described at the time.

"I remember at the time feeling insulted by that word. But I actually think when we are at our best as creative people - what we do is take risks," Washington said. "And I think a lot of times the studio or the streamers are terrified to take risks."

She continued, "A risk means you're going outside your comfort zone to do something that's never been done before, and you're not sure that it's gonna work, but you believe in it enough to try."

The drama series, in which Washington played Olivia Pope alongside Tony Goldwyn, Bellamy Young and Scott Foley, first aired in 2012 and ran for seven seasons.

In addition to Scandal, Rhimes has also produced hit shows such as Grey's Anatomy, How to Get Away with Murder and Bridgerton.

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