Photo via: ABC
The series finale of Shonda Rhimes’ groundbreaking show “Scandal,” aired on Thursday night after gracing our television screens for six years. Included in its final episode, was a scene that recreated the now viral image of 2-year-old Parker Curry captivated by Amy Sherald’s Michelle Obama portrait that hangs in the Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery. Parker later ended up meeting Michelle Obama herself.
Photo credit: Ben Hines
However, in “Scandal,” instead of the portrait being a photo of the first African American First Lady of the United States, the scene depicted two young Black girls (one Rhimes’s daughter by the way) looking in awe of a painting of political fixer Olivia Pope (played by Kerry Washington).
Audiences were left wondering why exactly Olivia Pope was admitted into the National Portrait Gallery, but it looks like it’ll remain up to interpretation. On “Jimmy Kimmel Live!,” Rhimes said that it is a secret that she’s going to hold on to “for the rest of my life.”
However, what we do know, is the admiration seen on the two girls’ faces, shows the power of representation and that Olivia Pope went on to become an inspiration to young girls who look like her.
When “Scandal” made its debut in 2012, Washington became the first African American woman to be the lead of a network drama since 1974. Shonda Rhimes became the first woman to create three hit shows with more than 100 episodes each (“Grey’s Anatomy,” “Scandal,” and “Private Practice”).
Together, Shonda Rhimes and Kerry Washington changed the television game and blazed an incredible trail while doing it. We salute both of you on a job well done.