She is gorgeous, smart, powerful, confident, and undoubtedly fabulous. You want to love her, you are on her team, and you feel for her when she suffers. There’s just one thing. She is sleeping with a married man. That’s right, he’s married. And, not only is he married, but he has kids. Who does she think she is, and how did she get caught up in this mess?
Our girl, Kerry Washington, plays Olivia Pope on the ABC hit series “Scandal.” Not only is America developing an addiction to this show, but people are in love with Olivia Pope. I would say that people love her in spite of the scandal she’s in the center of, but the truth is that people love her because of the scandal. People love the fact that she seems so pulled together on the outside, but on the inside she’s a hot mess. And, even though she is the mistress, people want to see her win. They want to see her happy.
On the TV show Olivia Pope is involved in a messy love affair with the President of the Unites States, Fitzgerald “Fitz” Grant (Tony Goldwyn). The First Lady, Mellie (Bellamy Young), isn’t exactly a loveable character. She’s manipulative, power hungry, selfish, and ruthless. But, at the end of the day, she is still this man’s wife. He made a vow to her. He chose her. Does he have the right to be with another woman because he feels like he made the wrong choice?
I can’t lie — I have become a part of the Scandal cult, and I am actually rooting for Olivia. I know, I know — it’s awful. I am a married woman and I am rooting for the mistress. It’s easy for me to do, because Olivia doesn’t really exist and Mellie is not really being hurt. It all feels so real, but when my clock strikes 11pm I know that it’s over. Kerry Washington is no one’s mistress, and no one is being betrayed.
But, I wonder, how would things unfold if this happened in real life? How do you react when a friend that you love and admire admits that she is involved with a married man – something you never thought she would do – something that is completely out of character for her? Do you judge her? Do you stop trusting her? Or, what if you are in the middle of the scandal. What if you are the mistress or the wife? How do you manage the emotions that come with a love triangle like this, while realizing that it’s no way to live? Nothing good can come from it… nothing.
“Scandal” is a hit for a number of reasons and I plan to keep watching, for sure. But seeing the pain that each character is experiencing reminds me that it’s never my place to judge. It reminds me that in real life, I don’t know any of the details in someone’s intimate life (even a close friend), and although I can root for what’s morally right, I cannot condemn anyone involved when I don’t know all the details of their personal story.
I’m rooting for you, Olivia, but it’s really because I want to watch you find your way out of this mess. I want you to realize that you deserve better than this. Everyone out there deserves a love they can truly call their own. That’s what I’m really rooting for.
BMWK family — What do you think happens when the scandal is real?