Kerry Washington and Aziz Ansari sat down for Variety’s fourth season of “Actors on Actors” and revealed their Hollywood horror stories.
For Kerry, she revealed that she was hired and then fired from TWO pilots before becoming Scandal‘s Olivia Pope because she wasn’t ‘hood’ enough.
“Before ‘Scandal,’ I was actually cast in two other pilots. Both went to series, but I was fired and recast,” Washington said. “For both, it was because they wanted me to sound more ‘girlfriend,’ more like ‘hood,’ more ‘urban.’”
While Washington experienced the repercussions of not fitting a certain stereotype, she soon discovered that it wasn’t exclusive to racial cliches.
“I’ve had friends of mine say like they’re tired of ‘gayface’ and I was like, ‘What’s gayface?’ They were like, ‘It’s the gay version of blackface, like come in and be more effeminate,”‘ Washington said, recounting past conversations.
They say when one door closes, another one opens! Had Kerry not been fired from those two pilots we wouldn’t have the Olivia Pope we know and love so dearly. We wonder which pilots she’s referring to…
Watch the entire interview when the two-part fourth season premiere of “Variety Studio: Actors on Actors” airs June 12 and June 19 on PBS SoCal. The episodes will also be available to stream on Variety.com.