It’s been nearly two decades since a Black actress was nominated in the best actress in a drama Emmy award category. And in the 65-year history of the Emmy Awards, no Black actress has ever won in that category.
Well, 2013 has flipped that script.
Last week, Scandal’s Kerry Washington was nominated for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series for her role as the super-driven, super-sensuous, no-nonsense PR crisis “fixer” Olivia Pope.
Whether she wins is anyone’s guess, but Hollywood insiders have said that this is “Kerry’s year.” So far, the 36-year old George Washington University graduate, who attended high school at the Upper East Side’s prestigious Spence School, has scored several top magazine covers including Vanity Fair, Elle and the Hollywood Reporter and in December she co-starred opposite Jamie Foxx in Quentin Tarantino’s Django Unchained. She also spoke at the Democratic National Convention in 2012 and recently adopted a school in southeast Washington, D.C., as part of the Turnaround Arts initiative of the President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities program.
Scandal debuted in 2012 and opened to glowing reviews for its intriguing story line, Washington’s stellar performance and the way the show portrays race. The Season 2 finale drew 9.1 million viewers and on May 10, the show was renewed for a third season set to air on October 3.
Shonda Rhimes, the show’s creator as well as the creator of ABC’s hit TV show Grey’s Anatomy, has said this of Washington: “When we started talking, it took all of three seconds for me to realize that she’s both incredibly beautiful and incredibly intelligent.” “Kerry has toiled. That she’s being noticed at this time — that’s exactly what she deserves. Sometimes good things happen to good people.”