Kerry Washington's New Role Is Powerful

By Kaitlin Reilly

This Scandal star is once again exploring Washington, D.C. politics in an entirely different role: According to The Hollywood Reporter, Kerry Washington will star as Anita Hill in Confirmation, an upcoming HBO film. The film, penned by Erin Brockovich writer Susannah Grant, will explore the Clarence Thomas confirmation hearings, which took a dramatic turn when Hill accused the Supreme Court nominee of sexually harassing her. This is a major role for Washington in a film that could explore a variety of hot button issues, all of which are still relevant today.

The Thomas/Hill case is a complex one. In 1991, conservative Clarence Thomas was appointed by President George Bush to the Supreme Court. Despite the controversy surrounding the decision, the nomination moved to the Senate, who held a confirmation hearing.

That's when things took a turn for Thomas: At the hearing, Hill — who was law professor and former assistant to Thomas — testified that Thomas had sexually harassed her during her time working for him, stating that he had discussed his sexual prowess with her and made lewd comments in her presence. She also stated that he had shown her videos depicting graphic sex. Despite Hill's allegations, Thomas was given a seat on the Supreme Court.

Though the hearings did not stop Thomas from becoming a justice of the court, it did spark huge awareness towards sexual harassment, something that was seldom discussed prior to the case in 1991.


Hill currently works as an attorney covering many sexual harassment cases, which stemmed from the injustice she believed she suffered by her own experience. A 2012 documentary, titled Anita, documents the case and the work Hill has done after the media frenzy subsided.

This case may not be discussed as publicly as it once was, but it has greatly changed how we think about sexual harassment. Considering her amazing presence on Scandal, Washington is a perfect choice to tackle the role of an empowered woman who isn't afraid to make waves — even when the world is against her.