Kerry Washington: White Women ‘Want to be Olivia Pope’

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Kerry Washington looks stunning on the cover of Vanity Fair magazine. The August cover pays a not-so-subtle tribute to her character Olivia Pope from the ABC cult series “Scandal.” Olivia Pope often relives stress by swimming a few laps at the pool.

Speaking of her problem-solving character, Washington revealed to Vanity Fair’s editor a surprising demographic relating to Olivia Pope. Washington said, “….one of the most profound things for me about the show is the number of white women of all ages who come up to me and say, ‘I want to be Olivia Pope.’”

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“It’s especially profound in a place like South Africa,” she continues. “It’s called ‘The Fixer’ over there, and it just started its second season. The fact that white women can see this woman of color as an aspirational character is revolutionary, I think, in the medium of television. I don’t think white women would feel that way about Olivia if her identity as a woman, period, wasn’t first in their mind.”

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Washington added that despite her character’s tough exterior, she’s also quite the mothering type.

“What I think is cool about Olivia is that she fully owns being a woman. There’s a very nurturing sense of  ‘I’m going to take care of you—don’t worry about it. I’m gonna be your mom in this situation. You come stay in my office, have a cup of tea, and let my gladiators take care of you.’ There’s something very maternal about it. But there’s also something very executive about her, and I mean ‘executive’ in a presidential way.”

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