In the issue, the “Scandal” actress teases about her forthcoming take on Anita Hill in the HBO film “Confirmation.” Hill is the attorney who accused U.S. Supreme Court nominee Clarence Thomas of sexual harassment in 1991. Washington is executing producing the project through her production company Simpson Street. The movie is scheduled to air on HBO on April 16, and Kerry explains to WWD why now is an important time to bring her own material to the screen.
“There’s always room for our film and television, for our art, to be more representative of who we are as a culture. I think for me especially, being a person of color and a woman, you really see that intersection,” she said, noting that the Oscars had left out women in 2015 and people of color this time around.
“It feels like there needs to be more opportunity for more of us to be invited to the table and have a voice at the table at all times,” she remarked. “Producing is really an opportunity for me to be a part of that conversation and make sure that I’m sitting at that table and using my voice to the best of my ability.”
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For the past five seasons, Kerry has starred as powerhouse political fixer Olivia Pope on “Scandal,” currently airing on ABC. She admits her initial fascination by viewers’ reactions to Pope, saying: “Across the board, a lot of men say, ‘She’s sexy, but she’s scary.’ She’s scary, she’s the fixer, she has power. And women say, ‘I want to be her.’ It’s fascinating, the different perspectives.”
Kerry also tells the publication why she believes this is prime time for strong women to make some noise.
“We live in a world now where there are more role models for that. I feel like when I was growing up, there was this idea that you had to be either smart or pretty, you know, that you had to choose between looking good or being intelligent. But I feel like now you have women like Michelle Obama who are just throwing those ideas out the window, and Marissa Mayer, who are like, ‘No, I’m going to be fashion-forward and fierce,’” she concluded.
Read more from Kerry for WWD here.