I saw this question asked on Facebook and it brought up a heated debated. “Is Scandal a Black show”? No, it’s not. The lead character is African-American but other than that there is no other character of color that headlines the ABC drama. It was created by Shonda Rhimes, an African-American and there are three characters that get considerable screen time including Washington. However, by no means can we label this show black along the lines of The Cosby Show, Martin, Black-ish, Empire or Power, just to name a few.
So, why is Scandal labeled as one?
It’s nothing wrong with thinking that it is or wanting it to be but the reality is, it’s not. It’s a great show that is centered around an African-American woman but it’s not ours. Washington is outstanding as the lead actress but her cast is mostly white. The other two main black characters on the show, Joe Morton, and Cornelius Smith Jr are recognizable but other than those three, that’s all we have.
ABC has a few black lead actresses on the network from Washington (Scandal), Chandra Wilson (Grey’s Anatomy) and Viola Davis (How To Get Away With Murder) but each neither show can be considered targeted for the black audience. It’s not being racist, it’s just stating the facts. For years I’ve wondered where all the great black shows have gone. The comedies are making a return with Black-ish but it’s the dramas that have fallen off over the years.
Power and Empire have stood their ground but after that what do we have in terms of enjoyable entertainment. And even those shows are centered around violence and drugs. The same can be said with 24: Legacy (Corey Hawkins) and now Fox has turned the tables and targeted their new show Star towards the black audience but the lead actress (Jude Demorest) in not black.
TV shows are no longer geared towards a certain culture and that’s what makes it great but we need to stop trying to claim shows due to race and just appreciate what we have in front of us.