Scandal is television show that has become very popular in the years since its debut in 2012. The show follows Olivia Pope, a crisis manager in Washington D.C. A recent episode of Scandal was called “Dog-Whistle Politics”. This episode digs deep by questioning the hidden stereotypes that are in American culture today. Race is analyzed in a way that not only exposes but also disproves stereotypes that are in society today. Stereotypes that are otherwise not thought about by the general public are brought to light in the episode. Olivia Pope has become the sole focus of the media due to her involvement with the President of the Untied States. The media is constantly looking for answers and they are given one when the newest addition to Olivia’s team, Marcus Walker, answers them. When talking about Olivia they have described her as many things such as well spoken, lucky, sassy, well mannered, hot blooded, arrogant, and secretive. Marcus answers these by saying “for a black women, is that what you meant.” Marcus saying this exposes stereotypes that have been hidden in American culture throughout history.
When adjectives like these are used to describe people of color today, especially colored women, they hold a different meaning as opposed to the norm that others understand when words like theses are used in the media. Describing women of color with such adjectives all relate to the stereotype that women of color can only be well mannered to an extent or that they have the stereotypical sassy personality. The context in which these words are spoken is the defining factor as to when these words are just adjectives and when they take on a whole new meaning. This episode exposes these hidden stereotypes in a way that is hard to ignore and shows the disapproval of these words being used in a certain context. Stereotypes about race in America today are not always as obvious as they have been in the past. Sometimes all it takes is a couple words to expose a stereotype that has been hidden in the shadows.
To see a clip of the scene, click the link below