Kerry Washington On The End Of 'Scandal': 'Olivia Pope Has Given Me This Sense That Anything Is Possible'

Theo Wargo/Getty Images

Sydney Scott Apr, 19, 2018

Scandal is coming to an end.

The hit series is ending after seven seasons of political drama, espionage, and affairs. Olivia Pope and her Gladiators will be missed.

However, Pope and Kerry Washington, who portrayed the iconic character, have left a mark on television that will never be forgotten.

Speaking with ESSENCE, Washington opened up about just how important Olivia Pope was to her. “I feel like whenever I play a character, I feel she comes into my life to teach me something. I’ve never had the privilege of playing a character for this long, but of the many things Olivia Pope has given me is this sense that anything’s possible, that there’s always a way through. “

She adds, “I  think it’s one of the reasons why I started a production company. It’s one of the reasons why I’ve done a lot of the things that have required courage.”

Speaking to The Hollywood Reporter, show creator and television genius Shonda Rhimes, touched on the impact of the show and, specifically, the impact of seeing a Black woman in a lead role on primetime TV. 

“Now it feels very normal and obvious that women of color can lead shows, so hopefully that is something that Scandal has done. Hopefully, we’ve created a world in which we’ve stopped seeing these characters on television and it’s a magical anomaly that they’re there and there’s an otherness to them…Hopefully, we’ve made a dent in that.”

Washington adds that going into the show’s final season allowed the cast to really process everything, she told ESSENCE, “Going into the final year knowing that it was our final year really allowed us to process at every step along the way. We’ve been talking about ‘This is the last’ whatever it is, for a year now—’This is our last Halloween together.’ We’ve been living in the awareness, and what that has allowed us [to do] is to really approach the ending with a sense of reverence and gratitude for what we’ve been able to share with one another and with our community as gladiators and fans.”