'Scandal' Kerry Washington: Inclusivity is Not About Demonizing Straight White Men

kerry washington scandal
credit: lev radin/Shutterstock.com

Kerry Washington has always been a force to be reckoned with. And with everything going haywire in our country, it’s time for Olivia Pope to take her badassery off-screen.

It’s no secret that Kerry is politically vocal — she spoke out against Trump during the election, warned us far in advance about Ivanka, spoke at the Women’s March, and stayed vocal in the wake of Deborah Danner’s violent death.

And with times as crazy as they are right now, Washington is preaching the importance of staying active and staying strong. Speaking with Glamour, she explained,

“So many of us are feeling attacked, whether it’s a woman’s right to choose or headstones in a Jewish cemetery, immigrants being deported or banned. So many of us feel the need to protect and defend our democracy. And march toward the dream of being ‘We the people.’ So that’s exciting, scary, and frustrating. We’re awake. We are awake more than ever before, and we have to stay awake.”

She adds,

“For democracy to work, everybody has to have a voice. It’s not about demonizing other voices. It’s important that there be real conversations across the aisle. There are people on the opposite end of the political spectrum who think that I’m part of a left-wing propaganda machine. It makes me sad that people would think that, because I believe for democracy to work, there has to be diversity of thought.”

This doesn’t mean demonizing straight white men (as much as we might want to). Because, as Washington explains,

“Inclusivity is not about, you know, creating a world where straight white men have no voice; it’s about creating a world where we all have a voice.”

If only our President would take this advice!

Kerry Washington really nails it when she says we need to “stay awake.” For so many (ok, for so many white women), this is the first time they are opening their eyes to the many discriminatory practices still at play in the nation. But it’s about the long game: we need stamina in order to last the next four years, the next decade, the next century.

And as Kerry points out, stamina takes optimism.

“My deepest desire is to create a world where there’s room for all of us, where no matter who you are, you get to wake up in the morning and know that you are worthwhile and deserving. If that’s the world I want to live in, I have to do the work to make that true for me. I have to do the work of self-love and affirmation, and say, ‘I am a woman, I am a person of color, I am the granddaughter of immigrants, I am also the descendant of slaves, I am a mother, I am an entrepreneur, I am an artist, and I’m joyful.’ And maybe in seeing my joy, you can finish your sentence with, “And I am joyful too.”

When she’s not busy fighting on the front lines, Washington plays Olivia Pope in Scandal.


Kerry Washington Has Important Words for Twitter After Death of Deborah Danner

Photo: lev radin / Shutterstock.com

Lena Finkel
Lena Finkel is the Editor and Founder of Femestella. Prior to starting Femestella, she worked at People, InStyle, Tiger Beat, and Sesame Workshop (aka Sesame Street). She loves all things Real Housewives and Vanderpump Rules. When she's not busy binge-watching TV, you can find her hanging out with her tuxedo cat Tom.