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Kerry Washington Says Olivia Pope Was Initially “Raceless” On ‘Scandal’

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SCANDAL - "Dog-Whistle Politics" - Eager to get answers, Jake unexpectedly crosses paths with someone he thought he'd never see again. Meanwhile, Huck and Quinn recruit a familiar face to help smooth over the media storm surrounding Olivia, and Fitz quickly finds out the true cost of mercy when he discovers not everyone fully supports his actions, on "Scandal," THURSDAY, OCTOBER 15 (9:00-10:00 p.m., ET) on the ABC Television Network. (ABC/John Fleenor)

A lot has changed since the first season of ABC’s “Scandal” which first premiered back in 2012. Characters have died and evolved, relationships have ended, the format of the series has shifted drastically, and most importantly, Olivia Pope is not the same woman we first met.

Now in its sixth season, the Washington, D.C.-based drama has found its footing once again after a rocky past couple of seasons. One thing that has changed considerably over the past few years is the way that “Scandal” addresses Olivia Pope’s identity as a Black woman. During the first season, Olivia Pope’s Blackness was nearly ignored.

In a recent interview with “Glamour,” the series’ star Kerry Washington spoke out about how “Scandal’s” stance on race has evolved and gotten stronger over time. Washington said, “In the first season it was as if Olivia Pope was raceless. There was no denying that Olivia was a Black woman, because I’m a Black woman, playing her in badass white trench coats that call to attention the fact that I’m not looking like anybody else on television. But we didn’t talk about her identity as a Black person.”

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