Where Are Olivia Pope’s Black Friends?

Posted in Scandal


Articled originally ran on Young Gifted & Ratchet.com

No. Seriously. Where are her Black friends?

I realized I would like Scandal a lot more if Olivia Pope had a Black girlfriend, or two, that she hung out with from time-to-time. How is it possible that this Black woman does not have any Black girlfriends she can decompress with? Admittedly, I’m not the biggest fan of the show. I love Kerry Washington, and I love the Black Twitter community discussions when the show airs, but, other than that, I’m really not that into Scandal. I can only be interested in the “Black woman fixes White people problem” plot for so long.

The astute cultural critics on Black Twitter noted that Olivia Pope is a career woman, and that is sort of the sole focus of her life on the show. Well, outside of her affair with the White president dude. @Ranity pointed out that, “She doesn’t have ANY friends. Which may speak to the fact that she had no mother and was sent away by her dad to boarding.” I think this is an interesting perspective, and Olivia Pope’s lack of Black friends, women or otherwise, might be intentional, but I still find it a bit odd. @JorgeCotto felt, “If Olivia Pope had friends they would have told her to lose that loser white guy a long time ago!” I could definitely see one of Olivia’s Black girlfriends being like, look girl, it’s time to cut the shit. Haha. Over on Facebook, Khepri T. pointed out that Olivia’s not even liked by her parents though. It’s hard out there for Olivia Pope in the realm of relationships outside of work. 


I asked a good Black woman friend of mine from college how she felt about Olivia Pope’s lack of Black woman friends, and she said it is sort of Shonda Rhimes’ thing. She thinks Shonda Rhimes is one of those second-wave feminist types who feels that work liberates women and, thus, her entire focus of her woman characters in on their work life, and not their less “liberated” personal lives. Interesting perspective, if you ask me. It does seem that Rhimes’ women characters are more work focused than anything else. Which is not a bad thing, in and of itself.

Part of me just needs to accept that Girlfriends is no longer on the air. I loved the professional/personal balance that Joan, Toni, Maya, and Lynn displayed. They had their careers, but they also found time to be friends, to be girlfriends. I loved seeing that dynamic on television, and I would love to see Olivia Pope interact with some Black friends, particularly Black girlfriends. It would be a great way to introduce some more Black actresses into the show.


Article copied in its entirety from Young Gifted & Ratchet.com

What do you think? Does Olivia need Black friends?

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56 thoughts on “Where Are Olivia Pope’s Black Friends?

  1. Firstly, your input is far off base because you’re not even a “fan” of the show. If you were, you would know Olivia Pope has NO friends. Only shady family members, colleagues and a few boos of different ethnicities.

    Secondly, stop trying to play that damn played out race card. I agree with you only on the need for Olivia to have a close female friend. I disagree that her race should even matter. A Hispanic or White or Sudanese or etc would be suffice. The only thing that matters is the content of her character, literally. Lol

    Thirdly, it’s a damn tv show. A very racially balanced TV show at that. Scandal is on ABC, not BET.

  2. The fact that there is a lot of people who think “realistically” her friends would be predominantly white is SAD…like there aren’t a large number of successful African-Americans as well…There are more successful blacks than the ones you see on tv and read about on blogs people…but apparently you all don’t know that! Not to say that the white race doesn’t have us outnumbered, but she wouldn’t exactly have to scrape the bottom of the barrel to find successful (in their own right) black friends!

  3. the problem i have with this type of thnking is that there is some kind of notion that black people must hang out with other black people. they dont have to. and at her career level there isnt a lot of black people to hang around anyways. and you should nt feel that you have to build friends based on their color.

    • Nor should one feel that they have to choose friends based on their level of personal success…I think “Olivia Pope” is a good start as far as introducing an intelligent and equally powerful career driven woman of color…however, it does bother me that her parents are made to be the biggest villains on the show and are indeed the only two other cast members of color. There is a definite lack of integrity and compassion amongst all cast members but even more so in the African-American ones.

  4. She might not be able to open up emotionally, but she has NO problem opening them legs up, though. Hope young girls don´t think that´s what it takes to be “elite”.

  5. If you pay attention to the show. NONE of the characters have any real friends at all Anyone that we think is a friend turns out to be a enemy. So even if Shonda did write in a bff. that btich would probably stab Olivia in the back and then Daddy gotta kill them. So I would see the BFF lasting maybe 1 or 2 episodes.

  6. Elliot London that´s bs. Bet Condalisa Rice and Michelle Obama have girl friends. Michelle hangs with Oprah as well. Olivia is just a white man´s whore plain and simple.

  7. YEEEESSSSS, DINEVA, YES!!! I´ve always said that all she deals with are white men. She has NO female friends cuz she´s a whore and they´d probably drag the ish outta her for it.

  8. Shonda’s work liberation premise has a flaw…. work IS liberating… but only to white women. Black women have been working the entire time they have been in this country and it hasn’t let up yet. White woman… not so much. You’d think Shonda would know that….

  9. Olivia has lovers, co-workers, disgruntled parents and Huck. This is her character. There are other Shonda shows like Private Practice where the best friend was a Black woman and while the characters on this show are physicians, much like Greys Anatomy, the relationships are primary and medicine is secondary. But Scandal and Private Practice are not the same. Like Shonda said, Scandal is not an ensemble cast. Grey’s is an ensemble cast which is why we see the intricacies of all of the casts’ personal relationships. Exactly where does this best friend fit in? I’d be pissed to have to slow down the show to watch Olivia sit on a sofa and talk to this friend. Every scene in this show adds to the puzzle and we already don’t get enough scenes. Her quivering lip is her decompressing.

  10. Get out of your feelings over a damn TV show! Are you really comparing a sit-com like Girlfriends to Scandal/a show where folks get assassinated/raped/poisoned/locked in cages/teeth pulled out/blown up/stabbed to death, etc. etc. all in one season?? Scandal is basically a telenovela with the focal point being a woman teetering between hero, anti-hero, and just plain tired of being a drama magnet. We watch for the plot twists, melodramatic breakdowns, sexual tension, etc. NOT to see Olivia Pope lounging around in her Spelman sweatshirt watching reruns of A Different World with her friends. Sooooo tired of people thinking every show needs to be over the top deliberate about representing Black excellence. Just enjoy the show where a Black woman is the HBIC, her Black daddy is the HNIC, and her Black mama is EVERYTHING.

    • I’m 50% in agreement with you. While the half of me that agrees with you say “GO AWFFF and tell the truth”, the other half of me is curious about what a scene with her and a real friend(not an employee of OPA and not a loud ass neck rolling “homegirl” either) would be like but im not in my damn feelings about it because Shonda does a damn good job at making us forget that Oliva’s only friends are that bottle of red wine and that sad ass popcorn bowl. I think bringing a friend on for a few episodes might not be the worst thing in the world as to show a little balance and lighten up the drama. But with that being said I dont think that the “friend” would have to be black either. This article was petty as hell for that in my opinion. Friendships dont have a racial requirment and if one was sticking to the plotline for the show, it would be more realistic that her friends might be predominatly white anyway. But all in all, its a damn tv show and one that none of us really give a damn about until september when it comes back on the air anyway.

      • I just don’t see how showcasing a friend (of any race) would fit with the show because it’s basically a show about a naive woman coming to accept that there are monsters in the world, they’ve been right under her nose, and at times she’s been one of them. Bringing friends on doesn’t really fit the show IMO because those types of relationships are used to humanize a character and I think we already get enough of a ‘human’ Olivia Pope via her mommy/daddy issues, love octagon situation, and borderline alcoholism LOL. I could see maybe an associate/friend from the past coming in to to fill Harrison’s void but the focus would need to be on some type of tension rather than sisterhood because it wouldn’t fit with the tone of the show. Just my two cents. I’m an aspiring screenwriter so I tend to look at things from that sense.

  11. Well, you know…like Shonda Rhimes said in her recent clapback to people who had something to say about her Dartmouth speech…Olivia Pope breathes that “rare air” of high-level, high-power, career-focused hustling that the rest of these black girls know nothing about. Clearly that is why Shonda didn´t see fit to write in any black girlfriends. #foul

  12. Does this person even watch? We haven’t seen any of her friends at all and she probably wouldn’t have any given what she does. This post is stupid …

  13. Hell naw if she had black friends especially black girlfriends that show would take on a whole new drama that is not needed. They kept it right keep her with no friends because the other people are just her employees they may seem like family but they can come and go. Watching Being Mary Jane if you want to see a character with girlfriends. lol Olivia stay on team no new friends

  14. She has NO friends. Must we make everything a “black” issue? Besides as fast moving as the show is when is Shonda going to fit in a scene showing her drinking Moscato with her homegirl? Come on now…

  15. Olivia Pope has entirely too much going on to have a bunch of nosy, gossiping girlfriends. The nature of her work and need for discretion limit her interactions with those outside of her career. Can you imagine her friends selling some of those secrets to the media? No ma´am. Look how Funky Dineva nosy arse is always spilling tea lmbo!

  16. I don´t know, not a Scandal fan, I didn´t care for the premise myself. I mean yes she is a professional, works in the whitehouse I guess. But in all reality, she is a liar, a schemer, and a damn home wrecker. And I like Kerry Washington from way back when she played a booster, just not a scandal fan

  17. Exactly Samantha Henderson she was sent away to boarding school since she was twelve. She went to the best schools to be “better than” the rest so nearly all her relationships have fallen by the waistside so that she can be accomplished. She spends too much of her time wrapped up into work and also her parents have caused her to be emotionally unavailable which is why she won´t keep a good man and is obsessed with the a married man. To sum it all up she has too many issues to have friends outside of work…

    • LMAO. Kanye been sold out. He wants nothing more than a world devoid of black people around him despite how much he pretends to be pro black in public.

    • Were you at Kanye’s Wedding? He clearly has black friends. Don C, Fonzworth Bentley, Virgil are just a few who were there, whom I doubt you’re aware of. Plus his family was there (who are clearly black) But I digress, what the hell does Kanye have to do with Olivia Pope anyways? He’s stated it accurately, “if people don’t hate, then it won’t be right.” (Yes, I was there, before you even refute with that tired ass rebuttal)


      On subject. It would be nice to see Kerry with a friend, but chile Kerry isn’t even that interpersonal. Her life revolves her work and trying to hop on the Fitz’s slong. I’m sure a lot of females, do not want to constantly hear about her tumultuous relationship with Fitz, after advice has already been given.

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