Bad news for Kerry Washington fans: For the actress and her adoring fans who thought she had a decent shot at winning an Emmy this year, this will sadly not be the case. As you might have seen, the 2015 Emmy nominations were just announced, and Kerry Washington's name is notably missing from the Emmy nominees. This is a big thorn in my side for a couple of big reasons...
For one, Washington's acting skills in her starring role have been consistently on point in Scandal. She has been praised for her talent and her hard work, and her alter-ego Olivia Pope has all but become a household name. And it is not like this much has gone unnoticed by the Emmy award committee. After all, you might remember that Washington has been nominated for an Emmy twice for Olivia Pope, in both 2013 and 2014.
And two, this is a huge missed opportunity to add to the diversity of the list of talented actors and actresses of all races in the nominee lists. The Emmys, like many high-profile entertainment award shows, have long been criticized for the problem of a noticeable lack of racial diversity among their award nominees and winners. An easy way to move toward a solution is to add more actors and actresses of color who are worthy of the nomination — like Washington, for example.
After all, Scandal is an ABC show that has been described as "breaking barriers" by the New York Times, a show where actors and actresses of color can take part in complex, interesting roles where race is a part of them, but it does not necessarily define them. Much of this type of recognition can undoubtedly be contributed to Washington's main character in the show, a political fixer who is having an affair with the fictional President of the United States. Considering that her character (and the rest of the talented cast, of course) have been able to get audiences interested and invested enough in the narrative to follow it for a few years is a huge deal. It shows how far we have come not only in television, but also as a society.
However, we still do have a long way to go in terms of recognizing a diverse range of talent in our awards show, and the fact that Washington's name is missing from this year's Emmys list is just a small sign of the larger issue at hand. Let's hope that in the future, other entertainment award shows can keep this into consideration when they are thinking about who to include in their lists. Otherwise, a great name like Kerry Washington's could go missing again. And that would be a huge loss.