Scandal‘s Kerry Washington was Fired from Two Other TV Pilots for Not Being “Hood” Enough

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Actress Kerry Washington revealed in Variety’s “Actor on Actor” series that before her breakout role on Scandal, she was fired from and recast in two other TV pilots. “They wanted me to sound more ‘girlfriend,’ more like ‘hood,’ more ‘urban,’” said Washington. In “Actor on Actor,” she spoke with Master of None cocreator and star Aziz Ansari about the challenges minority actors face through expectations created by stereotypes.

“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,’” said Washington in the video. “It’s interesting; like every person that’s not a straight, white guy has their version of this,” Ansari responded.

Previously, Ansari and Washington have both spoken out about problems of diversity and inclusivity in Hollywood. The full episode with their “Actor on Actor” discussion will air on June 12 and June 19 on PBS SoCal. The episodes will later be available to stream on

Watch the “Actors on Actors” interview clip here.

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