5:30pm PT by Lesley Goldberg
'Scandal's' Kerry Washington: Olivia Is a "Different Woman" Post-Abortion, Breakup
Olivia Pope will be a new woman in the second half of Scandal's fifth season.
In November's season five midseason finale, Washington's D.C. fixer was seen having an abortion during the Christmas-time episode that delivered a powerful message about Planned Parenthood.
Olivia, already being accepted as the first lady-to-be, had the abortion behind Fitz's (Tony Goldwyn) back and after the fan-favorite couple seemingly broke up after she called him an ineffectual president. "There is no us; no this; no Vermont; no jam; no future. Not anymore," she boldly declared.
On Thursday, during a visit to the Television Critics Association's winter press tour to support her role as Anita Hill in HBO's Confirmation, Washington told reporters that Olivia clearly won't be the same when the series returns.
"She’s definitely changed," Washington said. "What happened at the end of the winter finale is a huge decision for her and she’s a different woman because of it."
The midseason finale was the latest Shonda Rhimes-produced episode that took on abortion as the showrunner continues to use her platform to take on social issues.
Scandal returns Feb. 11 on ABC.
"Shonda sometimes dives into political issues because they are raw expressions of the human dilemma that we all live with everyday," star Tony Goldwyn (Fitz) told THR the day after the episode. "Shonda doesn't make polemic arguments; she's not sending messages. She's progressive politically but she really does these things because they're important to talk about. That's where she's coming from as a dramatist."