Kerry Washington, who’ll be guest hosting Saturday Night Live tomorrow, is a smart, warm, and wise woman who understands the media and gossip rags as well as, if not better than, her character on Scandal, spin doctor Olivia Pope. In an interview with the Advocate, Washington spoke about her commitment to equality and civil rights, and addressed the rumors circulating about her:
It’s interesting how much people long to fill in the gaps when someone in the public eye doesn’t share their personal life. I understand their frustration. I like how people will post pictures of me with other women that I adore, hugging on red carpets, and say, “See?” Are we so uncomfortable with love between two people of the same gender that we immediately label it as sexual? But I’ve never been bothered by the lesbian rumor. There’s nothing offensive about it, so there’s no reason to be offended.
Washington, who announced Wednesday that she’s expecting her first child with husband, San Francisco 49ers’ cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha, has played lesbian and trangendered characters in films, and has a strong following in the LGBT and ally community. At 13, Washington was involved with the LGBT community and HIV/AIDS peer education through NiteStar, a theater education program in New York City, and her commitment to equality across the board continues, something that shines in Scandal‘s plot lines:
For our show in particular, because it represents such diversity on so many levels, sexual orientation included, it means a lot. I always want to be a part of work that speaks to people across the lines that divide us…But because it has such an amazing following that crosses age, race, gender, and sexual orientation, Scandal has changed the game completely…
in fact, something that brings me great joy is knowing what Scandal’s audience looks like in terms of African-American households and knowing that so many African-American people and families are being introduced to our characters James and Cyrus. It’s really exciting that millions of viewers each week are living life with this amazing, complex couple, stepping into their gay marriage and adoption experience, which is such a vital storyline in our show….
With over 1.2 million Twitter followers, Washington has made it known that her support of LGBT right extends beyond the US, tweeting her disappointment over Russia’s anti-LGBT laws, as well as her support of equal rights around the world. She told the Advocate:
When there are crimes against humanity being committed in the world, we are all so vulnerable. We have to look out for and protect each other.