×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

‘Scandal’ Will Feature a Donald Trump-Inspired Character

This week’s episode of “Scandal” will feature a character inspired by Donald Trump.

On Tuesday night, the “Scandal” team teased the upcoming life-imitating-art storyline, plus discussed Hillary Clinton’s recent visit to the ABC series’ set.

“There might be parallels coming,” Bellamy Young, who plays former First Lady Mellie Grant, said with a laugh on the show’s panel at PaleyFest at the Dolby Theater in Los Angeles, Calif.

“You think the debates you’ve seen in the real world are fun!” star Kerry Washington teased, adding that the episode following this week’s has even more Trump goodness.

The episode that will air this Thursday was screened tonight at PaleyFest in front of a large audience, including this Variety reporter, who was asked not to reveal the actor portraying the larger-than-life presidential hopeful — but it is a character who has been seen on the show before.

Asked by moderator “Good Morning America’s” Lara Spencer how the current political climate has influenced the “Scandal” writers this season, Rhimes admitted that she’s changed some storylines, after seeing the real-life debates. “We did have some moments where I would run back to the writers room and I would say, ‘Hey there’s some dialogue that we need to cross out because it kind of already happened.'”

Later on in the panel conversation, Rhimes made it clear that while parallels are unavoidable, she’s not hugely inspired by the current race. “I will be honest and say I am more influenced by Hamilton right now than the election,” she said, referring to the hit Broadway musical, garnering laughter from the theater. “The election right now, it’s its own thing. You can’t make that stuff up.”

Last week, new “Scandal” recurring actor Ricardo Chavira spoke to Variety, slamming the Trump “bandwagon,” and speaking about how the current politics of America has an influence on his character on the show.

However, one real-life politician did make her way into the “Scandal” team’s hearts. Hillary Clinton recently visited the set and last week, Rhimes, Washington, “Grey’s Anatomy’s” Ellen Pompeo and “How To Get Away with Murder’s” Viola Davis appeared in a Clinton campaign, which aired during ABC’s “TGIT” lineup.

Tony Goldwyn, who directed that campaign, said that the entire project came together in just a matter of days. “It was just a bunch of people who were not afraid to speak their mind about something they were passionate about and put their reputations out there,” he said. “The whole energy behind it was just very authentic and real and just honest.”

Washington shared that she shot her scenes separately from Pompeo, Davis and Rhimes, “We actually didn’t get to work together that much because we all came in at different times because we’re all busy working moms, but even in the emails back and forth about it, we were making this decision as individuals. This wasn’t some order from above,” she said. “This was each of us making this decision to do it together. It felt really decision to make that decision as a group.”

On the red carpet, before the panel, the “Scandal” cast spoke to Variety more about Clinton’s visit, Trump’s state in the race — and what to expect with “Trump’s” storyline on the show. Watch video:

More TV

  • Dom Delport

    Vice Swings to Profit in the U.K., Eyes International Partnerships

    After a tumultuous period involving harassment scandals, job losses and restructuring, Vice has registered a small profit in the U.K., according to the company’s latest results. The uptick is welcome news for Vice as its new international boss, Dominique Delport, scopes out new production and partnership possibilities for the company’s content business. The U.K. was [...]

  • Stephen Colbert

    Stephen Colbert Mocks Former CBS Chief Leslie Moonves on 'Late Show'

    Leslie Moonves was known to take an active dislike of David Letterman making fun of him during that host’s tenure on CBS’ “The Late Show.” He probably isn’t enjoying being mentioned by Stephen Colbert either. Colbert used his monologue on Tuesday’s broadcast to poke fun at the former CBS Corp. CEO, who yesterday learned that [...]

  • Ruth Wilson and Idris Elba'Luther Series

    'Luther' Creator Neil Cross Working on Show's Movie Version, Idris Elba Says

    A movie version of crime series “Luther” is moving forward, with writer-creator Neil Cross working on the script, the show’s star Idris Elba confirmed at the launch of Season 5 in London. “We are really advancing on getting a movie version [of the show] up on the screen,” Elba said. “Neil is beavering away on [...]

  • THE VOICE -- "Blind Auditions" --

    TV News Roundup: NBC Announces Midseason Premiere Dates

    In today’s roundup, NBC reveals midseason premiere dates for six shows, including “The Voice.” DATES  NBC has announced midseason premiere dates for four returning and two new series. “The Voice” will air Feb. 25 at 8 p.m. ET/PT, Feb. 26 at 8 p.m., and March 5 at 8 p.m. It will return April 23 at 8 [...]

  • Penny Marshall Dead Obit

    Remembering Penny Marshall, Who Forged Her Own Path and Paved the Way for Others

    She was a natural comedian — fearless and funny, willing to trade on her natural Bronx brogue to craft a sassy and street-wise character that was tailor-made for sitcoms. But Penny Marshall, who died Monday night at the age of 75, proved throughout her long career that she had so much more in the way [...]

  • David Rhodes CBS News

    CBS News Faces New Challenges in Weeks Ahead

    At CBS News, President David Rhodes has a series of important decisions to make that could affect the trajectories of some of TV’s best-known news programs. As its parent company seeks to move forward from recent seismic events – the ouster of its former CEO, Leslie Moonves; a corporate probe into its workplace culture; and [...]

  • European Union Placeholder

    Europe, Hollywood Hail Landmark E.U. Territorial Licensing Agreement

    Industry organizations and major companies in Europe and Hollywood welcomed Tuesday a high-level European Union agreement that in large part preserves producers’ ability to sell movies and TV shows on an exclusive territory-by-territory basis. Territorial licensing is a financial backbone of the film and TV business in Europe. Recognition of such licensing came last Thursday in [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content