Originally, ABC wanted someone else to play Olivia Pope, and we can't handle that
Now that Scandal has offish hit the momentous 100 episode mark, the team behind it is dishing about all kinds of stuff, including casting secrets — like how Kerry Washington wasn’t always Olivia Pope. It’s hard to imagine the now iconic TV heroine as anybody but Kerry Washington, but apparently the network had somebody else in mind originally.
Even though in the interview with the Hollywood Reporter, Shonda Rhimes states that she always envisioned a black woman headlining the show — as an homage to real-life Olivia Pope Judy Smith — ABC originally pitched a bunch of white women.
Specifically, Connie Britton was put up for the role and was really pushed for.
We totally love Connie Britton, obvi, but Kerry Washington’s status as the first black woman to headline a show in 37 years is too important to imagine in any other hands.
Washington was quick to voice that it would’ve been a great role for Connie Britton, and we totally love her for saying so and agree because Connie Britton is amazing — but as Rhimes went on to say, the white actresses who were at the top of the networks’ list were nonstarters, and for good reason.
It’s super interesting to imagine what our fave shows would’ve been like if different decisions had been made at any point, but we’re really happy with Scandal the way it is.