There is a lot of dialog about the perception of black people in media…and rightfully so. However, I am loving seeing black women on television in prime time slots! I don’t care what you think and here’s why!
Simple question: Why do people look to fictional characters for positive role models? As Scandal returns and America’s appetite is once again satiated by the extra steamy affair that is Olitz (Oliva and Fitz), I know there will be some comments spread throughout social media about Olivia being a side chick and how we (we being women of color) need a positive black role model. Like we get it! Cheaters never win!
But Olivia Pope is not real! It is okay to like her. Why are people so fixated about a fake person being a good role model? Do you think we are supporting the Side Chick Come Up Association? No! Nobody wants to ruin marriages.
As a writer, this topic is starting to bother me. Oliva Pope, Mary Jane, and Claire Underwood are beautifully written tragically flawed characters. Sure there are other flaws a woman can have outside of having a extramarital affair but then again, why does it matter? How bad is our society that grown women must seek television for guidance on how to live life? And why does media have the burden of being a moral compass for America?
Where are parents to give their children these guidelines? Where are the parents to tell their children what they can and cannot watch? Where are the libraries that offer real life biographies on positive women role models? Where is google for all the times that Oprah and Michelle Obama are no longer enough? And since when do role models have to be perfect?
If we must look to fictional characters, can’t we just look at one aspect of their life…the thriving one? Give me Olivia’s career any day! In my career I look up to women like Tina Fey. I don’t know what her personal life is like so I can’t hold her responsible for that. However, I do have ladies around me who I can admire. Not to say that they are perfect but from what I know about them personally, they inspire me to be a little bit better in my everyday life.
Stop looking to Hollywood for heros. It’s not the responsibility of the writer who probably sacrificed marriage and children for their career to tell you how to be good at your personal life. Now, let me go enjoy my Scandal in peace.