Dear Ms. Rhimes,
I could be wrong, but I get the sneaky suspicion you want to hear our opinions on the following matter. Here goes …
It hurts me to
say type this but, Columbus Short needs his walking papers, STAT. His time as dapper Harrison Wright–the fast-talking, impeccably groomed, right-hand gladiator to Olivia Pope–should come to an unfortunate end. When one’s scandals off the small screen cause the art of a show like yours to be imitated in one of your cast member’s life, it’s time to get to fixin’.
Before I go any further, I’d like to apologize to you. I was really upset about the lack of development his role was receiving. All of this time, I thought you let Harrison roam around in a barren, one-dimensional land while every other characters on the show got in-depth narratives. One of the many reasons I adore your show is the attention to detail you give to each character and their back stories. You promised that we would get to know much more about Liv’s die-hard sidekick after the winter finale, yet outside of him carrying on with Mama Pope’s minion leading up to the season’s finale, we still knew little more about Harrison other than what was disclosed in season one. I couldn’t understand why his presence waned more and more each week.
It is clear that Mr. Short is not well. I would assume he has an issue with substance abuse, mental illness or a combination of the two which means this situation will only get worse before it gets better. As much as I’d like to see Harrison’s prequel, I need Short to get gone because it is quite simply the right thing to do. Moral clauses were created for a reason, and if ever there were cause to incite one, it is when fully grown men threaten and beat their wives in front of their helpless children. Not only will his continued employment hurt the show’s reputation, I believe many of your fans will turn the channel before turning a blind eye to his abusive behavior. (Maybe, certain professional sports organizations will follow suit.)
In closing, I do applaud the way you and your team have handled this situation artistically so far. I believe the cliff hanger of whether or not Harrison survives is a great insurance policy on Short’s future. On one hand, if Columbus stays out of jail and decides to get some help during the hiatus, Harrison can easily squirm his way out of his near-death scenario in the fall. At the same time, I imagine you’re giving the show’s loyalists time to sound off on whether or not we want him back either way. Consider my vote cast.
Tanya Tatum is the opinionated host of “The Tatum Talks,” a live Blog Talk Radio show focusing on African-American interests. Feel free to join in on the weekly madness every Wednesday night from 9-10p EST at www.blogtalkradio.com/thetatumtalks and daily at www.facebook.com/thetatumtalks. Follow her @TheTatumTalks on Twitter.