Character sourced from: Pop-Culture

Olivia Pope

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Added by: DSkillz

Read more about Olivia Pope at: Wikipedia

Official Site: ABC

Olivia Carolyn Pope is a fictional character created by Shonda Rhimes for the political drama television series Scandal. This character also played a small role in the series How to Get Away with Murder on its 4th season produced by Shonda Rhimes: where she plays a crisis manager who helped Annalise get her class-action case heard by the Supreme Court. The character is partially based on Judy Smith. In the series, Pope is played as an adult by Kerry Washington and as a child by Yara Shahidi.

Pope is a Washington, D.C.-based crisis manager who runs her own firm, Olivia Pope & Associates (OPA), that specializes in "fixing" political situations and scandals. The character has become a widely watched fashion and style trendsetter.

Pope is loosely based on Judy Smith, who served as George H. W. Bush's Deputy Press Secretary and represented Monica Lewinsky during the Clinton-Lewinsky scandal. On Scandal, she is a revered fixer who helped United States President Fitzgerald Grant (played by Tony Goldwyn) win office. Pope is a former lawyer and White House aide. Pope "thinks fast and effectively". Among her secrets is her affair with President Grant. Some of her employees have law degrees, but do not serve as lawyers. Instead, they are "gladiators in suits" who mollify or avert a wide array of crises.

The role is regarded as groundbreaking. According to Felicia Lee of The New York Times, Pope is the only dramatic protagonist role played by a black woman on American network television since 1974, when Teresa Graves starred as Christie Love in Get Christie Love! for one series. Among her prominent comedic predecessors, Diahann Carroll played the title role in Julia from 1968 to 1971. Pope is regarded as a post-racial character, yet possibly the most complex black female lead in television history. Although the show does not touch upon race that often, regarding her much publicized affair with Grant, Pope once said "I'm feeling a little, I don't know, Sally Hemings-Thomas Jefferson about all this." Pope has given Washington a role as a standard bearer for middle-class and upper middle-class, educated black women.

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