NPR

'Scandal' Will Keep On Giving Long After Olivia Pope Handles Her Last Crisis

When the show premiered in 2012, it had been decades since network TV presented a drama starring a black woman. Scandal reshaped the landscape. Its final episode airs Thursday.
Scandal's Olivia Pope (Kerry Washington) is based on real-life African-American political fixer Judy Smith. Source: Mitch Haaseth

One of my greatest lessons in the power of representation on TV came from watching an episode of Scandal.

In fall 2013, I spent an evening with a group of black and brown women watching an installment from the show's third season. We were gathered in a comfortable, tastefully decorated town house in Washington, D.C. Spirits were high — everyone was ready to watch political fixer supreme Olivia Pope (Kerry Washington) tackle the latest bizarro crisis invented by series creator Shonda Rhimes.

What struck me most was how much pride

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