The Scandal cast gathered at PaleyFest in Los Angeles on Sunday evening to discuss their hit show.
During the panel – moderated by late night talk show host Jimmy Kimmel – the cast touched on the recently aired Ferguson-centric episode and Columbus Short’s dramatic departure from the show last summer.
On the Ferguson-centric episode:
“I was very moved that [Shonda Rhimes] had a lot of feelings about what’s been going on,” said Kerry Washington. In response to an audience member’s suggestion that Olivia seemed to connect more strongly to her blackness during this particular episode, Kerry continued, “It eclipses any one person’s identity because it’s about lives mattering, regardless of who they are.”
Tony Goldwyn (Fitz) chimed in.
“We had no idea that was coming – the multifaceted way Shonda enters into this conversation, the unflinching, uncomfortable, complicated way she did it.”
“I don’t know how (Shonda) does it, except she’s just very dialed into the American consciousness, and she’s deeply passionate about it.”
After Jimmy fielded an awkward question from a fan asking about Columbus’ departure from the show – a question that induced laughter from the crowd – Kerry offered a classy yet mute response.
On Columbus Short’s departure:
“The one thing that I would say, just so that it’s clear: Everyone who’s in this family is in this family, whether you’re on this show or not. I don’t celebrate the laughter at that question. I understand the question, and thank you for giving us so many viewers, and thank you for understanding why we’re not going to answer that.”
The cast also previewed upcoming storylines, including Lena Dunham’s March 19 guest appearance.
Check out two photos of Lena in character below.