After a month-long hiatus, Scandal returns tonight to the relief of salivating fans (including myself). The television drama has managed to cross the racial barriers we see so often in TV shows and their audiences. You know what I’m talking about. We have ‘black shows’ that are primarily viewed by black folks, like the 70’s hit Good Times (DY-NO-MITE!) or more recent ones, like The Game. And then we have Friends and Frasier. Catch my drift? Scandal has successfully captivated blacks, whites and everyone in between– all while having a black female lead. The question is how?
The short answers are great storylines and excellent acting. But for me, I think it’s something deeper. Our real-life connection here is the portrayal of an interracial relationship on television like we’ve never seen before. Ever. Olivia and Fitz are hot, heavy and addictive. I could go on and on about the ficticious relationship, but you’d never read it all. What I will say is I think it’ll be interesting to see how the show will have short and long-term effects on relationship dynamics. Yes, to the distress of many ‘sisters,’ we’ve seen black men date/marry white women for quite sometime now. That’s old news. What we haven’t seen on any scale close to that is the opposite– black women and white men in romantic relationships. Whether on television or in real life, its intriguing to see.
I recently opened my myself up to the idea of dating someone of another race. I just could never see myself with a white guy, for a number of reasons. One being my upbringing. My daddy, the “James” in “Ashli James,” the man who significantly shaped who I am, how I think and what I look like, is a black man. He was and is an amazing father, therefore, I wanted my significant other to be like him. Brown skin and all. As I began to warm myself to the idea of dating someone who isn’t black, a question I never considered before become really important. “Will ‘they’ want to date or even be attracted to you?”
Sure, Olivia and Fitz are into each other, but will real white men be open to dating black women? Of course some are, but will they on a grand scale, be as attracted to black women as so many black men are to other races? The answer remains to be seen. I guess it doesn’t really matter. Maybe I’m overthinking things. I’m just happy to see the country in a place where so many of us are open to an interracial relationship on a successful TV show and not make a big fuss about it.
The whole thing could just be a trend, kind of like light-skinned men in the 90’s; but it could (and hopefully) is something more permanent. Whatchu think?