The real first lady and the woman who plays a woman having an affair with the president on ABC’s hit show “Scandal” shared a stage today. Kerry Washington’s complicated television character (a Washington “fixer” who can’t fix her own love life) didn’t complicate her encounter with Michelle Obama.
Obama called Washington a “dear friend” and “a big-time star right now. Big time. I mean, there is no bigger star right now than Kerry. It’s just true. It’s a fact,” Obama said, during a visit to Savoy Elementary School in Anacostia to tout the school’s arts program.
Washington is Savoy’s mentor through the President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities, which has labeled Savoy a “turnaround” school and is investing in the school’s arts program.
Left unspoken by Obama, who praised Washington’s commitment to the school, was the reason the actress has become such a bankable star. Olivia Pope, her character on “Scandal,” is involved in a steamy on-screen romance with the show’s fictional president, Fitzgerald Grant.
In the hallway, as reporters were waiting for Obama to make her entrance, a chatty photographer cracked: “Does she know that Kerry Washington is sleeping with the president? She’s okay with that?”
The line fell with a thud.
The students, presumably too young to watch Washington’s show, were giddy to have their special guests in the school and danced and sang for Obama and Washington.
Also left unclear was whether Obama watches “Scandal.” The first lady has not listed it among her favorite television shows, which include “Modern Family” and “Downton Abbey.”