Kerry Washington thinks diversity should be “celebrated”.
The star received a nod for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series for her role as Olivia Pope in political TV drama Scandal.
She is the first African-American woman to be given a nomination in this category for two decades.
“While I don’t have a specific answer in terms of why it has taken the TV Academy so long to nominate a black actress, I will say that Scandal prioritises inclusiveness and diversity,” she told Deadline.
“Not just in terms of race, but if you look at Jeff Perry’s character [Cyrus Beene] and Dan Bucatinsky’s character [James Novak], if you look at the world of the show, it prioritizes race, gender, age and sexual orientation. So the fact that a show like this and these two nominated characters [mine and Dan’s] can be celebrated, I’m really proud of that. I’m excited to live in a world where these stories can flourish.”
Kerry appreciates all the praise she receives for her work, but she tries not to let it go to her head.
The actress is committed to doing the best job she can and thinking about other people’s opinions only distracts her from her ultimate goal.
“I feel really grateful for the experience. The acting work has to come first. That has to be my focus,” she explained.
“You can never control how people respond to work. You can only control your own work ethic.”
The 65th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards will take place in Los Angeles, California on September 22 at the Nokia Theatre.
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