The Mythology of Olivia Pope

The Mythology of Olivia Pope

LAST MONTH I GOT into it with a woman (black woman) in a debate dealing with the hit TV show, Scandal.  Unbeknownst to her, I am a fan of the show and as an analytical fellow I can break down characters, plots, and other common elements in cinema or written media tenfold.  She clearly had no idea who she was dealing with.  In this debate, she exclaimed:

You just mad! Real mad! Olivia Pope is a strong black woman who gets what she wants from whomever she wants (white guy President), and she doesn’t get exploited by NO ONE! (false)

Hmm… okay.  While I, the analytical movie media critic decidedly destroyed her asinine claim that I’ll get into shortly, I sat back and wondered… if you are a fan of the show, black woman on the blogosphere, then why is it that the ONLY thing you highlight is the fact that she gets dicked down by a white man of power and prestige?  From there, as a fan of the show who is fully capable of seeing past a single fucking plot device, I realized WHY black men (who swear to never watch or support the show) hate Olivia Pope and to a great extension, the entire show:  Black women on the blogosphere who praises the shit out of Pope for her interracial affair. And Only that. 

For the common black guy on Facebook to have his first and primary knowledge of a TV show he’s never seen to be based off of regular random status updates, memes, and discussion groups (like the one I encountered) black women post online, it’s only natural for him to hate the fuck out of Olivia Pope.  The ONLY THING he knows is who she prefers dick from.  And this is the primary thing black women, on average, from The Sophisticated to The Hoodpigeon, speak of.  It’s the only thing they highlight the most, flaunt in front of black men.  If that’s a black guy’s only exposure… from The Sophisticated to The Hoodrat… then of course he’s going to hate on Olivia Pope.  He’s ignorant of the character because his only exposure to the character is an ignorant highlight.

There’s also the mythology of Ms. Pope on how she “takes no shit” or “don’t get exploited by no man” or whatever invincibility grant these simple bitches are giving her.  This is very much reminiscent of the other mythological creature called the independent woman, which usually manifests as “she’s (I’m) a strong independent black woman, who don’t need no man!”   So in combining the single plot device that’s blaring with character flaw with this invincibility myth, you got yourself quarter of a metric ton of bullshit minotaurian fecal matter being fed raw to scores of black men on Facebook, Twitter, and hundreds of blogs and message boards online.  So Olivia Pope is a strong independent black woman who doesn’t need “no” man, right? Hold your horses cowgirl…

First and foremost, Olivia Pope has a team — therefore, she isn’t independent, per say.  Her team consists of, currently: a tortured ex-Jason Bourne assassin, a smooth talking brother who is a lawyer, a radically honest redheaded investigator, a snarky attorney general and a possible sixth ranger traitor.  She is FAR from independent.  While one may boast they all depend on her, she infinitely depends on them, deeply.

Speaking on those who depend on her, I hate to cut it to ya, but Olivia Pope gets exploited all the time.  I chose a picture of her with a shocked expression for a reason: She’s ALWAYS getting exploited.  Olivia Pope gets exploited at least once per episode.  If an episode skips a beat, then count on that episode only building up for her to be truly fucked over (not in that way, perv) in the next one.  Her chaotic neutral mentor Cyrus Beane exploits her all the time.  The President exploits her all the time, in more ways than one, which is worse because of her side-chick love affair, her judgment on him is totally robbed blind.  Numerous clients exploit her, such as a governor covering up a murder so he can run for president in the next season.  She’s also got exploited by her own mom, and will be exploited by her dad.  Olivia Pope is always exploited, and numerous times she is forced to “take shit” from people.  She’s totally not above getting put in her place or getting totally owned by members of her own team.  And she’s their boss.

Her nonsensical love affair with the President of the United States, is a character FLAW, not character FLAUNT, honey.  I get it; many black women marvel at the notion of a white man on network TV taking a liking of Olivia Pope, who isn’t exactly ambiguously brown as say, Zoe Saldana for example.  I got it, sure.  But news flash to you hoodpigeons:  Nichelle Nichols got Kerry Washington beat by 44 years — when she played Nyota Uhura in 1968 in the Star Trek episode Plato’s Stepchildren, She kissed Captain Kirk, who is infinitely a far more epic character than President Fitzgerald Grant!  So sorry bitches, you’re 44 years late on that one.

Second point, is that her affair gives birth to a plethora of problems she has.  She originally misread a potential client due to her dick bias with the President.  Currently she’s working as a campaign aid again, and if she never stayed dicked down by him, getting people to re-elect his ass would be infinitely far more easier of a task due to less “scandals” to de-conflict.  Without an international crisis, bad economy or act of terror, the only problem Grant has with his electability is his wholesome morality; it’s a publicly known fact he cheated on his wife, which is political suicide for a republican, or at least should be.  Her inability to keep her legs closed, in effect, makes her job that much harder.  This is her weakness, not her strength.

So no, she’s not some invincible black woman who doesn’t need anyone, or doesn’t get exploited. Bullshit.  While there will still be scores of black men who hate Olivia Pope, I ultimately blame black women for being beyond one-dimensional in their praise of the character, only highlighting her side-chick status.

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