Last week, ABC’s “Scandal,” starring Kerry Washington as the formidable Olivia Pope, struck a nerve all across the country. It did so not with a new outrageous plot twist or a blistering monologue by “Papa Pope,” played by Joe Morton, but through the simple act of art imitating life.
The episode causing the stir was titled “The Lawn Chair.” In this polarizing hour of “Scandal,” a young man (Brandon) is shot and killed by a Washington DC Police officer and his father, Clarence, played by Courtney B. Vance, incites a police stand-off when he rushes to the crime scene and raises a shotgun, refusing to leave his son’s body until justice is served.
Vance joined Roland Martin Tuesday on “NewsOne Now” via Skype to discuss last Thursday’s episode of the ABC drama that sill has people talking today.
Vance explained, “These situations seem to be coming up again and again and it to me it really focuses our attention on the fact that we need to have a gloves off dialogue about Black and White.”
He continued, “It’s the deepest issue that we have. That’s why every time a situation comes up, we seem to keep going back over the same ground. We never really get to what the meat of what part of the issue is.”
Vance accounted the tensions America continues to wrestle with being centered on Blacks and Whites simply being “different.”
“We’re raised differently, and our views about police, based on the way we’re raised are different,” said Vance.
“It’s a very huge issue, which is why we need to continue to talk it through, we have to talk it out. We can’t say that we were at a place where — no we understand each other — no we don’t, we don’t.”
Martin asked Vance after reading the script for this hard-hitting episode of “Scandal” if he said I absolutely have to do this.
Vance replied, “No, I did not say that. My life is complicated.” He explained that his mother has ALS and “there is a lot that goes into making decisions about our business. And this was one of those where I’d said, ‘I don’t know if I can move that fast because they needed to know right away.”
Vance continued, “My reps took me aside and said, ‘This is one of those you’re going to have to jump on, Court’ and I took a deep breath and said, ‘OK.’”
Watch Martin, Courtney B. Vance and the “NewsOne Now” panel, featuring Monique Pressley, principal of The Pressley Firm PLLC, author and political commentator Avis Jones DeWeever, and Hughey Newsome of Project 21 discuss one of the most powerful episodes of “Scandal” touching on police violence, brutality and racism in the video above.
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