Kerry Washington continues to find new ways to make me love her more than I already do. Likewise, she keeps providing reasons to loathe those who are antithetical to her and her candidness as it relates to issues related to race and class.
Yes, I’m throwing Zoe Saldana shade again. I’m not sorry either: Zoe irks my last nerves with all that nonsense about labels being unimportant, racism not being worth complaining about because of President Obama, and other imbecilic statements.
Now back Big Sister, Brilliant One, Kerry. In a new interview with The Guardian, the actress slams the idea that her hit political drama, Scandal, can be classified as “post-racial” TV. Why? Because that’s stupid.
Well, she gave a much more thoughtful response than that, but for the record, it is stupid.
She is adamant, however, that Scandal is not “post-racial” TV. “I don’t believe in post-racial. It’s like saying we should live in a post-gender world. But I love being a woman! I am interested in living in a post-sexist world and feel the same about race. I don’t want to live in a post-race world because being black is really exciting. I mean” – she laughs – “it’s who I am. I’m a woman, black, from New York, Aquarius – these are things that create who I am. I’m interested in living in a post-racist world, where being African American doesn’t dictate limitations on what I can do – but I don’t want to live post-race. Our differences are so fascinating and wonderful. We don’t want to all be the same. Who wants that? Hitler did, but who else?”
She is philosophical about the influence of skin colour on her career. “There are two sides to this coin. I have had, and still do, experiences where someone will say, ‘You know, we just don’t really see this character as black. We don’t want to go black with her.’ Some of it I respect, because this is a visual medium, so I don’t believe in colour-blind casting. But I think sometimes people make that decision out of fear, or laziness, or just not wanting to have to travel down roads that aren’t familiar.” On the other hand, she points out that, were she white, she wouldn’t have landed her biggest movie roles. “It has its downsides – there have been things I’ve loved but I haven’t been able to be a part of – but it’s also had its upsides.”
She can’t bring herself to single out a favourite role. “God, no.” She half-laughs. “Every role is like a child, so I don’t like to compare them.” But the part of Pope makes particular sense to her because “I’ve been in politics for a long time”.