‘Scandal’s’ Kerry Washington and Shonda Rhimes Speak Their Minds, Ruby Dee Dies at 91 & More

by | June 12, 2014 at 4:19 PM | Black Entertainment, Can't Stop Watching, Celebrity Deaths, Oprah Winfrey, Scandal

Shonda Rhimes and Kerry Washington (Photo: Christopher Polk / Getty Images)

I’ve got some inspiring as well as sad news to share: Kerry Washington gets very candid about “Scandal” and the show’s creator, Shonda Rhimes, offers some straight forward advice of her own. And Hollywood legend Ruby Dee passed away today. There’s also my watchlist and what’s hot (Oprah hanging out with the cast of “A Different World”) and not (these school shootings). Enjoy!

Kerry Washington recently sat down with The Los Angeles Times to discuss all things “Scandal.” This was her first postpartum interview and she looked gorgeous! Glowing skin, nice mommy curves and just the Kerry-ness that we all have come to love. Yes, motherhood really agrees with her. Kerry’s known to be guarded and this interview, which focused only on the ABC hit show, was refreshing (similarly to how I felt about Dave Chappelle’s recent “Letterman” appearance) because she was being herself while talking about something she loves, “Scandal.” The show’s last season took us on a ride. We met Olivia Pope’s nutty parents, found out why Mellie is so Mellie, saw another side to both Jake and Quinn, and cringed when Huck licked Quinn’s face–everything was a roller coaster! The events even inspired me to concoct my own hit list. And Liv, I mean, Kerry, addresses it all, answering questions from the L.A. Times and fans via Google+ Hangouts. One person asked, “What message do you hope the Olivia’s character sends to young brown girls?” This is a question that Kerry and show creator Shonda Rhimes have gotten often about Olivia Pope, especially when Kerry was nominated last year for a Primetime Emmy Award. “I don’t think that Olivia Pope is a role model per se. I think there are things about her that I admire, you know. Her wardrobe, for example, but also that fact that she’s an entrepreneur, the fact that she’s a self-made woman, that she’s truly empowered, that she’s clearly educated,” Kerry shares.”All of those things are very inspiring and very intriguing and powerful and an important thing for young brown girls to see. I would say an example of her personal life, not so much.” I agree. Please, DO NOT attempt to recreate Liv’s dating history. Not. At. All. Watch the full interview below to learn her other thoughts on “Scandal.”

CLICK HERE TO WATCH THE “SCANDAL” SEASON 3 FINALE

Hey, we can’t chat about Liv without mentioning Shonda Rhimes, who also created “Grey’s Anatomy.” The Darthmouth Class of ’91 graduate turned her recent commencement address at her alma mater into a “fireside chat” where she pretended Twitter, Facebook and other social media tools didn’t exist. And after briefly reminiscing about her own graduation, which featured Elizabeth Dole as its speaker, she got right to it: “I think a lot of people dream and while they are busy dreaming, the really happy people, the really successful people, the really interesting, engaged, powerful people are busy doing,” Shonda shared. “Lesson one, I guess, is to ditch the dream and be a doer and not a dreamer.” Keep moving forward, she said. Well, dang, Shonda, what are people supposed to do now? I watched the entire address and she made a lot of good points. Yes, including, “a hashtag is not a movement; a hashtag does not make you Dr. King. A hashtag does not change anything, it’s a hashtag… Volunteer some hours. Focus on something outside of yourself.” Amen, Shonda. To find out the other lessons Shonda shared read more here or watch it below. #AwesomeSpeechShonda

As Shonda Rhimes and Kerry Washington continue their evolution as Hollywood icons, we remember a legend who passed on today, Ruby Dee. She was 91 and though it’s never easy to say goodbye, I think we all can agree that she lived a very fulfilling life. Her career’s spanned more than 70 years with her starring in many popular films including “A Raisin in the Sun,” “Do the Right Thing” and “American Gangster.” She was another person on my list who I wanted to have my own fireside chat with. And I came very close to meeting her two years ago when she was honored at the National Black Arts Festival in Atlanta. But, I had already made travel arrangements to sitdown with another celeb. I may have taken for granted that I’d be able to sit and talk with her about her long life, particularly the years she and her late husband, actor Ossie Davis, spent blacklisted because of their civil rights activism.  ”Life’s Essentials with Ruby Dee,” a documentary about their lives, will premiere during the American Black Film Festival on June 20. The couple’s grandson, Muta’Ali, is the visionary behind the project. That should be good. Read more about Ruby Dee’s life and legacy here.

On my watchlist? What I’m tuning in to see and what I’ll catch up with XFINITY On Demand…
“Suits”: I’ve been hearing a lot of good things about this show and since season 4 debuted last night, I think I’ll check it out. It airs Wednesdays at 9 p.m. EST. Watch it here.

The Hot List: Who/What’s Hot, Not
HOT: “Power” gets renewed for a second season (Ok, Ok, now. Be sure to stay tuned for more “Power” coverage here.).
NOT: Senseless murders (You don’t like yourself or had a bad day, so you want to grab a gun?).

HOT: Oprah Winfrey hanging out with the cast of “A Different World” (Hmm, seems like there’s a mini-reunion in store. Debbie Allen told me last year that she’d love to bring the show back. Hmmm…).
NOT: Marissa Williams, 19, asking a Facebook friend to kill her aunt, not knowing her aunt was posing as that guy (…).

The opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Comcast.