Singer Jill Scott Tested for the Role of Olivia Pope?

JILL SCOTT AS OLIVIA POPE

Can You Imagine Jill Scott as Olivia Pope?

With the 100th episode of Scandal set to air this Thursday, cast and crew were recently brought together by the Hollywood Reporter to discuss what it took to bring the controversial political drama to network television. It was of course no shock to hear ABC wanted the part of Olivia Pope to be played by a white woman, despite the character being inspired by real-life African American political fixer Judy Smith. What was a bit shocking, however, were some of the names being thrown about to play Olivia once the network agreed to the casting of a black woman.
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Olivia Releases New Single ‘Posing’

OLIVIA POSIN

Former “Love & Hip-Hop” star Olivia is back with new music.

The Brooklyn, New York native unveiled her latest single “Posing” earlier this week via her official Twitter page, along with a request for fans to send her their most fiercest selfies.

“Posing” is the latest in a long line of Olivia singles the 34-year old vet has managed to release independent of label support, the last being 2014’s “Unknown,” which sampled Busta Rhymes’ 1997 hit “Put Your Hands Where My Eyes Can See.”
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Olivia Releases ‘Unknown’ Single

OLIVIA LONGOTT UNKNOWN (140x140)

Olivia is back with new music.

The former “Love & Hip-Hop: New York” star, who recently abandoned ship for the greener pastures of HBO, has returned to her musical roots and gifted fans with a new single.

“Unknown,” which samples Busta Rhymes’ 1997 single “Put Your Hands Where My Eyes Could See,” is the latest in a long line of singles Olivia continues to release independent of any label.
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Olivia Pens Tell-All + Lands HBO Role

OLIVIA FAMILY BUSINESS

Singer Olivia is moving on from reality TV and is embracing bigger and better things.

The former “Love & Hip Hop” star has abandoned VH1 for HBO, having secured the role of Ruby in the upcoming drama “The Family Business.”

Aside from her burgeoning acting career, Olivia continues to focus on music, saying fans can expect her album “The Right One for You,” to be released sometime this fall.
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Olivia Pope Inspired Fashion Line

OLIVIA POPE INSPIRED FASHION LINE

Wanna dress like Olivia Pope?

What a stupid question; of course you do.

Well, according to ‘Scandal’ costume designer Lyn Paolo, the average American woman may soon get the chance to do just that.

In a recent interview with Fashionista.com, Paolo said the idea of an Olivia Pope inspired fashion line has been talked about for some time now, and that ideas are presently being mulled over.

“We’ve been talking about how we could create something aspirational for the audience- something Olivia Pope might wear, but not so aspirational that it is out of reach for most of our gladiators,” says Paolo. “Right now we’re throwing around ideas and trying to figure out how to do it so that it’s not out of the price range that most people can afford, and yet somehow still create something for people to have a piece of the Olivia Pope look.”

Since its mid-season debut in 2012 ‘Scandal’ has become a bonafide hit for ABC and singlehandedly launched actress Kerry Washington’s career into the stratosphere.

The show earned its first Emmy nods earlier this week- one for Kerry as Lead Actress, the other for Dan Bucatinsky as Guest Actor.

Should We be Proud of Olivia Pope?

KERRY WASHINGTON AS OLIVIA POPE

If, like me, you are one of the millions of fans of ABC’s intense drama Scandal, you watched last week’s season finale. While I don’t consider myself a “gladiator” (I think that’s what the die-hards call themselves), I do actively watch and enjoy the show, but it was something during last Thursday’s episode that disturbed me.

We all know, besides the many other plots and twists, the main storyline centers around this “forbidden love” of Olivia Pope (played by actress Kerry Washington) and Fitzgerald “Fitz” Grant (played by Tony Goldwyn).

Not disregarding the fact that Fitz is the president of the United States (as if being in a relationship with someone in this position of power wouldn’t be difficult enough) Fitz is married. *Translation* the main storyline of Scandal, the juicy part, the sexy, hot, sensual “forbidden love” is what you and I would call a good old-fashioned affair.

It’s downright adultery. Everyone who watches can clearly see that… fair enough. But, what pinched a nerve during last week’s episode was, after meeting to discuss Defiance and the new issue of this Citron card, with Mellie (his wife) not too far away in the hall confiding in Cyrus, the President proceeds to give Olivia—what every logical person can conclude—oral sex. This threw me off because as I sat there watching, all I could think was “Dude, your wife was just in here two seconds ago and she’s currently walking down the hallway outside of that room.”

The scene just made me think how blatant this adultery has become—even to the point of displaying it darn near Mellie’s very own eyes. It reminded me of the scene two episodes ago when Fitz “picked” Olivia, and the scene showed him and Olivia happily sleeping together while Mellie sat looking at the clock as the time ticked away on her marriage.

Now, I understand Shonda Rhimes is probably making their affair so prevalent now to demonstrate just how much Fitz doesn’t care and desires to be with Olivia; I get it. But as I keep watching, I’m starting to wonder does this imagery have a much bigger role than the “oh it’s just TV” position we’ve given it?

The questions we need to examine are:
1. Is Olivia Pope an image black women can be proud of?
OR
2. Should she have to be? Is Olivia Pope just a character on screen, nothing more, nothing less?

I’ve read blogs and viewers’ comments showing differing opinions:

Is Olivia Pope an image black women can be proud of?
Some people say yes: For the first time in almost 40 years a black woman is in the lead role of not only a network drama, but a highly successful one at that.

Pope isn’t the “average” or “typical” character most often associated with black women in the media: mammmie/mule/sister soldier. Nor is she a gold-digging, neck rolling, cat-fighting reality TV persona or a Tyler Perry character. Instead of being stereotypical, Pope provides an image of a normal black woman, which is rarely seen in the media. Not to mention, she is beautiful and the object of affection of the most powerful man in the nation; again, something rarely seen in the media.

Other people answer no to this question: Even though Olivia Pope is successful, beautiful and intelligent, a very big part of her image on the show is playing whore to the president. Even though she’s his “true love,” she’s still playing the role of a black side chick, home wrecker and mistress.

Is Olivia Pope just a character on screen, nothing more, nothing less?
Is Shonda Rhimes and the other Scandal writers responsible for portraying black women in a certain light (especially with Shonda being a black woman), or do some of us look too deeply into it? It’s just TV, a soap opera at that; so, there will be infidelity, sex scenes and the characters will be tragically flawed.

Gina McCauley of What About Our Daughters blog wrote:

Scandal lovers don’t want to come out and admit that broadcast television is a powerful driver of culture – good and bad. An entire generation of Black girls is going to see their place in the world differently because of this character – in ways microscopic and massive.

In a world where there are so few images of Black women on broadcast television that look, sound and act like Olivia Pope, it’s reasonable that people would want to psychoanalyze her role and discuss potential impacts.

I agree with McCauley, tv and other media forms are powerful drivers of our culture. The images portrayed in the media of black women do affect how not only black women view themselves (and sometimes their roles), but how others view us. This is why Kerry Washington’s lead role is so significant, yet is what also made me think a little deeper about the blatant adultery (and the actual praise of it in this case) in Scandal a little more. We’re already seeing how so many devalue marriage and make a mockery of it; do we need yet another example?

My sister, however, made an interesting counter argument to this claim. She said Mellie knew about Fitz’s and Olivia’s affair a long time ago and was even okay with it at one point, telling Olivia she forgot to do her part in one episode. Now that the affair isn’t benefiting Mellie and she suddenly wants her husband back doesn’t mean we should sympathize with her.

Again, this is another example of the Scandal debate: real-life affects or just a show?

What do you all think, Sistas? Scandal, Olivia Pope, black women, infidelity: Does the imagery truly affect us or should we not entertain what happens on screen past it’s 1-hour time slot?

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BIO

Service is her passion, writing is her platform, women and the Black Community are her avenues. Shala Marks is a writer, editor and soon-to-be author. Through her work, Marks aspires to demonstrate “The Craft of Writing, and the Art of Efficacy.” She has a B.A. in journalism from Arizona State University. Connect with her at:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/shala.marks
LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/in/shalamarks

Olivia & Fitz Cover TV Guide


I really like ‘Scandal.’ I think the show is well written and superbly acted by the entire cast. Having said that, I don’t get the whole Olivia/Fitz love affair. I personally don’t see a stitch of love between these two characters. All I see is sex. Each and every episode they are either having sex or fantasizing about a previous sexual encounter.

My feelings aside, the show is a bonafide hit and its lead actors, Kerry Washington, aka Olivia Pope and Tony Goldwyn, aka President Fitzgerald Grant, are covering the latest issue of TV Guide.

The show’s fans rallied to get the scandalous drama on the cover, and Kerry personally thanked the ‘Gladiators’ for their support via Twitter.

KERRY WASHINGTON THANKS GLADIATORS VIA TWITTER

Olivia Debuts New Single ‘I Do’

Olivia’s singles seem to coincide perfectly with either the season premiere or season finale of her VH1 reality series ‘Love and Hip-Hop.’

The one time J Records protégée continues with this trend, releasing her new single ‘I Do’ earlier this week and just in time for her storyline, which kicks into overdrive on next week’s episode.

The Jerry Wonda produced track enlists the help of rapper French Montana and samples the 1987 Eric B. & Rakim classic ‘I Ain’t No Joke.’

Olivia signed to Wonda’s label back in 2012 and is scheduled to release her sophomore album ‘Show the Word’ later this year.