Actor-producer Kerry Washington opened the third night of the virtual Democratic National Convention with a fiery warning about the stakes of the 2020 presidential contest between President Donald Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden.
“We’re fighting for the soul of this country and for our lives,” the “Scandal” star said in introducing a program that is to include performances by Jennifer Hudson and Billie Eilish, in addition to speeches by President Barack Obama and Democratic VP candidate Kamala Harris.
Sen. Harris (D-Calif.), appeared at the top of the 9 p.m. ET hour — in the vein of a “Saturday Night Live” cold open — with a plea for viewers to set up a “voting plan” for Election Day, Nov. 3, by sending a text message to the Biden-Harris campaign.
Harris also noted the rising alarm about voter suppression efforts in the presidential contest. Harris asked the audience to consider “Why is there so much effort to silence our voices?”
She added: “When we vote, things change. When we vote, things get better.”
Washington, who for seven seasons played savvy political fixer Olivia Pope on the ABC drama “Scandal,” is one of several Hollywood figures tapped as emcees for the primetime portion of the Democrats’ four-day political rally. Given the virtual format, the program is more produced than usual, which opens the door for seasoned performers like Washington to handle segues between taped segments.
Wearing a sharp-edged pinstriped suit, Washington welcomed viewers to the “unconventional convention.” She urged the audience to engage in the political process to help defeat the threat posed by President Trump and his policy agenda.
“Donald Trump is destroying our country,” she said.
(Pictured: Kerry Washington)