Once again it’s your friendly, neighborhood Goddess of Light.
This has been a VERY UGLY week for Scandal. I’m appalled by the disgusting actions of the show, show runner and insensitive reactions from “fans” badgering actual victims, tearing down other fans for not seeing how this affects the relationship between the central character and her love interest and so called feminists who truly believe that somehow the power is now in Mellie’s hands because of what she endured.
For people to be blasé about rape, I’m not surprised. For a woman to be extremely blasé about rape, I get to be disappointed. I get to shame that person for their inability to connect the damn dots. I get to demand that they explain why they handled a subject with as much grace as a wrecking ball. I get to question the intentions of a show runner who undermines the audience and the star of the show with such devices.
I also get to pull out chairs for anyone running that Team Mellie shit up the flagpole. Please have several seats. I don’t need smoke blown up my ass by anyone. I am not a pawn, I am not mindless and I am not easily led to emotional outbursts because of bad television. This was awful— But not because Mellie was raped. Response to this poorly executed, inexcusably painful and horrific moment in television is what’s truly troubling.
At what moment do we start exposing our sadistic sides and then claiming humanity in the next breath? Please make me understand. Why is it okay for Olivia to endure what many view as abuse— And I am not talking about any interaction involving Fitz— but because the nature is not as graphic, I’m not supposed to sympathize with her character? Her entire life has been impacted by events that took place when she was a child. Cynicism grips around her so tightly that I don’t even think God could convince her that she is truly loved. And Thursday night, well Thursday night now has people under the impression that because of what happened to Mellie, she doesn’t deserve Fitz’s love.
When did it become a contest? Better question: Why is there a contest, when from the start of the show, it has been presented that Fitz loves Olivia and while she struggles with it more than anything else on the show, she does indeed love him back? Why am I labeled insensitive for not allowing the opinion I shaped, without coercion, to be manipulated because of tragedy porn? How can I take back what I still believe matters most between those people? I don’t dismiss what happened to Mellie at all. But it is something I am sure neither Fitz or Olivia know, so it plays no part in why I still and will always ship Olitz. If that makes me a “horrible person” then oh fucking well. But what does it say to be suddenly sympathetic because you see that person as broken? It does not make you more compassionate to feel sorry for someone. Mellie as victim received my sympathy; the First Lady does not. Because they are not the same thing.
Am I ever accepting of rape as a plotline? Hell fucking no. That literally caught me off guard. I did not know how to feel, respond, and I barely knew what I saw. It numbed me. Because it had absolutely NOTHING to do with the central plot. So it was a very abrupt “and now here’s something to throw off everything” type of move to me. Garnering sympathy for a character can be easily accomplished by humanizing them. Rape, in its entirety, is quite a dehumanizing act. Shonda’s failure to humanize Mellie to me doesn’t mean I think she deserved it. Because present day Mellie is not the same woman we saw in the flashback, and even she doesn’t deserve it. I keep saying this, BECAUSE NO ONE DESERVES THAT! But her actions in the aftermath make it difficult to cheer for her.
Can we talk about why and how people are dragging Olivia into this at all? This event takes place before her services are ever enlisted, and yet people have sewn new hatred for her. Why? What is her role in this entire ordeal? Someone explain that. What does this actually have to do with her falling in love with Fitz? Why should I lower her in my eyes to boost up Mellie, who up until parts of Thursday night’s episode, has always been viewed as calculating and manipulative? This has nothing to do with lacking sympathy. Because out of everybody on this damn show, I feel the most for Olivia Pope.
I identify with her problems. Her inability to form attachments is real. The way she questions whether she is deserving of anyone’s love is real. That is a struggle that plays across her face at every possible moment. At what point do we omit her struggle to say, “yeah, but rape is way worse than psychological trauma”? Seriously? There’s just so much wrong with that. Olivia Pope has been victimized, abused and broken. But I don’t view her through that lens because the storyline painfully steered me down that road. These are observations from just glancing at certain scenarios and the actions taken against her.
Olivia Pope is the heroine of the show. Despite Thursday night’s efforts to— Okay so I don’t even know what they set out to accomplish. Because all that showed was what we all knew: Big Gerry was a horrible human being, who we already despised, for treating Fitz like shit. That, in no way, diminishes what I feel about Olivia Pope and Fitzgerald Grant III. So the current dialogue shouldn’t be about how I feel about Olitz. They still love each other, struggle with the entire concept of communication, and have secrets that they would rather not drudge up. They are not wrong for loving each other, despite what many people want us to believe.
Last night should not have been utilized as a way to make people feel towards Mellie what we’ve never had trouble feeling for anybody else. Our compassion is not to be sought through manipulation. That is cruel and tasteless. Mellie as a character does not strike me as a full person. Through her actions, what she developed as “tougher skin” just made her impenetrable emotionally. I still think her primary emotions are disdain, rage and false outrage. Next week will probably showcase more of her condescension and frigid demeanor, leaving Mellie exactly where we found her at the start of the season. I just don’t get how any of Thursday’s episode progressed her story.
Speaking to the fandom: We have certainly been tested. I’ve read the brave true accounts of women who survived rape/sexual assault. on this site. This show united a lovely group of people who hold some of the best conversations about EVERYTHING! That’s vague and probably far less eloquent than I wanted it to be, but it’s honest. While the attacks against shippers (all ships that exist), people who still don’t see how this affects Olivia Pope (because it doesn’t) and people who love Fitzgerald Grant have been truly disturbing, it still doesn’t change who we are.
I appreciate everyone who speaks their mind on such a serious issue. Lending valuable information to the conversation is always welcome. But the glass house inhabitants who come hurling boulders, only to immediately hide their hands, get nothing from me. Playing into that divisive “Olivia vs. Mellie” shit for ratings is disgusting. I wouldn’t give a good goddamn about Scandal without Olivia Pope. Shonda may have created it, but I watch this show for Kerry Washington. Thursday’s episode had her on the fringe and that shit is not okay.
Don’t dare question what I feel for actual victims of sexual abuse based on my response to a plotline that literally had nothing to do with what the show is about. That was not a case, Remington was mentioned, but it had ZERO to do with it. That is upsetting. Questioning my humanity for a fictional character, who still lacks a great deal of compassion and humanity, will not be allowed. Do not do that shit. Honestly, what Shonda did was make me look at Scandal differently. Nothing about this feels exciting, enjoyable or even like must-see-TV. Where does she go from here? Because at this point, I’d rather not see anyone sink with her. Be good, everyone.
Peace, Hip Hop & Purple Rain