‘Scandal’ Star Kerry Washington on Donald Trump: ‘Less Than Quarter’ of America ‘Voted for Our Next President’

Scandal Season 6 Donald Trump
Courtesy of ABC

Season 6 of “Scandal” kicks off with the results of the presidential election — the show’s presidential election, that is.

The first five episodes of “Scandal’s” new season, which premieres on Jan. 26, were filmed before the real-life 2016 election. And so Shonda Rhimes and the cast say that the political drama will draw no parallels to President-elect Donald Trump or Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton.

Speaking Tuesday morning at the Television Critics Association winter press tour in Pasadena, Calif., Rhimes was quick to deflect the first question from a reporter that specifically prodded about Trump.

“I don’t really equate the two,” Rhimes said about “Scandal” and the election. “That’s not really the goal. If that were the goal, we would have waited until after the election to write about the election.”

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When the show returns, the election results between “Scandal” characters Mellie Grant (Bellamy Young) and Frankie Vargas (Ricardo Chavira) will be revealed in the first episode. But the show’s presidential hopefuls were not inspired by Clinton or Trump. “There aren’t any similarities,” Rhimes said. “I don’t think the candidates have any similarities … these candidates don’t equate so I don’t think you can correlate the two.”

Young, who plays former a First Lady running for president (like Clinton), explains that the TV world and the real world are kept separate.

“Our world is a complete fiction,” Young said, keeping the focus on the new time-jumping format of the new season, rather than the election. “You’ll find out the results of the election immediately, but we’ll go back in time and find out what happened to those characters in those moments. That kind of storytelling finds a new way in Season 6.”

Tony Goldwyn, who portrays President Fitz, who will be out of the White House in Season 6, noted that “Scandal” serves as an interesting form of political entertainment in the current climate. “In counterpoint to this crazy political world America is living through, it’s interesting, but they’re not the same.”

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Joe Morton acknowledged that while political news coverage is consuming TV, some viewers may not even want to watch “Scandal,” even though it’s fictional.

“I think the audience is going to watch what makes them feel well,” Morton said. “Some people may want to watch something that has nothing to do with politics simply because of what’s going on in the world … there is no real similarity between what’s happening in the real world and our show.”

Though the “Scandal” panelists didn’t engage in Trump conversations on stage, following the panel, star Kerry Washington did speak to reporters, including Variety.

“I think we have to be careful by saying that the results of this election represent the majority of the sentiment of the country because half the country didn’t vote, and half of who voted, not even — the popular vote went to Hillary,” Washington said. “So we’re talking about less than the quarter voted for our next president. And I also think it’s important to say that inclusivity is not just about people of color and women. Inclusivity is about everyone having a seat at the table. It doesn’t mean keep white people out, or men don’t have a voice. Everyone should have a voice at the table.”

Also on the panel were stars Darby Stanchfield, Joshua Malina, Scott Foley, Cornelius Smith Jr. and executive producer Betsy Beers.

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  1. Alan Gore says:

    So what? Less than 18% of the country voted for Bill Clinton in 1992, and if Hillary had won the electoral college in 2016, she would have become president with less than (gasp!) 25% of the country voting for her. I’m not a republican or a democrat, but I wish the democrats would stop whining. It’s been over two months. Give it a rest.

  2. Jon Heath says:

    Kerry says in Readers Digest “I don’t want to not be African.” It sounds as though you don’t want to be AMERICAN!

  3. REG says:

    OMG, Variety comments have been overloaded by Trumpettes idiots!! Kerry is correct. Half didn’t vote and those who did, HRC won the popular vote. Like the comments, Trump brings out all the hateful, racist, and sexist Americans. In other words, deplorable people. Meryl Streep was on point and she didn’t have to call the racist Trump name and yet his Klanman followers knew exactly who she was referring to…check mate.

  4. KnittingDiva says:

    Good grief what an idiot. She thought Meryl Streep’s speech was brave? You two need to get out of your Hollyweird environs, your 1%’er elitist friends and talk to some who voted for Trump – I know it’s a dreadful thought, but you might learn something! Lord knows you both are lacking in common sense.

  5. Chris says:

    ‘Better to Remain Silent and Be Thought a Fool than to Speak and Remove All Doubt’… this seems to be applicable to so many “celebrities” who think we care what they have to say just because someone puts a microphone in their face.

  6. Pam Brown says:

    Nice try, Kerry Washington. Only about 50% of the people vote at all which is the only reason about 25% voted for Trump. Only about 25% voted for Obama also. However, of the people who did vote, about 46% of them voted for Donald Trump. Nice try though.

  7. Victor says:

    Well since Trumpt and Clinton pretty much split the vote, if only 25% of the country voted for Donald Trump, doesn’t that mean that about only 25% of the country voted for Hillary Clinton? Any comments on that from the political scientist Ms. Washington?

  8. Beth CP says:

    She’s pretty and she can act but why should anyone take what this woman says seriously? Unless she’s running for office there’s little reason to pay any more attention to her and her Hollywood peers than is absolutely necessary.

  9. Dave says:

    Idiot alerts!!!
    The number sounds right: half the country didn’t vote (50%), those who voted, more than half goes to Hilary. So 50% of 50% is 25% – less than a quarter of the population voted for Trump.
    This IDIOT forgot about two things:
    1. Those who did not vote pretty much delegated their votes to those who did. Let’s say someone is running for class president and only 10% of the student population showed up and voted for a person. Will the other 90%, who did not care and did not vote can claim that’s not my class president?
    2. Speaking of democracy, we have rules and laws and the laws now says GO with electoral votes; nothing else matters. Some people wants to move the goal post in the middle of a game here. Until that’s changed, don’t bring up hanging chads, 52% popular votes, etc.

    LOSERS all the way. For those losers – idiots logic.

  10. Don't Be Bitter, Be Better says:

    The lack of inclusivity for patient, hard working, law abiding citizens is exactly what motivated this rage against the machine vote & every time a celebrity talks in tones that suggest that the people who decided to make this vote are some how the wrong winners, the dumb ones or simply a minority of bigots & racists intent on creating a fascist state, are actually just reinforcing the decision of those who chose not to vote for someone who was simply going to keep polishing the machine. – Don’t be bitter, be better.

  11. Quaker says:

    She’s just sucking on the Hollywood teat so she feels that she belongs.

  12. Joe says:

    How many Asians are on the show? Don’t Asians deserve a spot at the table? Hypocrites

  13. Steve says:

    Washington is wrong.

    It’s actually less than a fifth of Americans.

    I’m not denying the fact that he won. But any attempt to call it a landslide or mandate is foolish. Trump really ought to have some modesty and humility. Trump, of course, is incapable of those things, so brace yourselves for a bumpy ride.

  14. Wow. The hatred here is strong. Don’t let the facts get in the way of you hating her telling telling the truth.

  15. Denise says:

    Kerry, just hold on a minute, honey. Someone will write you next line for you, just hold on. You’re sounding a bit stupid going off on your own.

  16. Black says:

    Perhaps Kerry, buy only .007 percent watch you on your show.

    • Moose says:

      And only .004 percent of the American public saw you have an abortion to Christmas music on a TV show. Very classy… and keep talking…. .0000001 percentage of the American population is fascinated in what you spew.

      • Heanor hines says:

        Whatso a show got to do with what she said are one not allowed to voice their opinions. Remember Scandal is fiction not reality.

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