Often, when a woman of color is in a movie, it is considered an “activist moment,” but Kerry Washington wants to influence change.
“Inclusivity is about multiple voices at the table, and social media has made the table bigger and much easier to get to,” Washington said at South by Southwest Interactive Festival.
Washington, who plays Olivia Pope in “Scandal”, said women don’t often get to be leads of their own stories, and social media has given her the ability to inspire change. Without Twitter, “Scandal” wouldn’t have had a second season. Had she not live-tweeted the first season of the show, no one would have continued to watch.
Washington said Twitter has been a news outlet for her to check daily. She only tweets about the things she cares about, like the Black Lives Matter movement.
“The ability that social media has to give a voice to the voiceless is very important,” Washington said.
But, social media has its downsides as well. Washington, who had a baby last year, has chosen to keep her personal life private on social media. The actress’ popular Instagram account includes photos of her outfits, manicures or events she attends, but none of her baby.
She said people tweet all the time asking where her family is on social media. But, Washington doesn’t regret the decision to keep her personal life private, especially with the amount of internet trolls she encounters daily.
Washington deals with rude people on the internet everyday. When Washington gets hateful comments, she thinks of people like Beyoncé or Oprah, who deal with hate and manage to continue changing the world.
“I don’t scroll down and read comments because people are so mean,” she said. Washington mentioned she doesn’t tend to block people unless they say something like, “I want to rape you and send you back to Africa.”
“I don’t believe in responding because I don’t think I have the tools to transform someone’s ideology,” Washington said.