Scandal has had its share of episodes that fired up social media. But last week’s episode was one of the most controversial the show has ever aired. The episode, entitled “The Lawn Chair” starred Courtney Vance as a D.C. father whose son was shot in the street by a police officer.
Vance’s character refused to leave the scene until answers about his son’s killing were found. Olivia Pope, initially brought in to help the D.C. police department changes sides, in a departure for her character.
While he’s teased by the TJMS for his “ugly cry,” on the episode, it was one of the most moving episodes the show has ever aired. It was also the most controversial, with some fans of the show saying on social media that they would never watch again and one social media user opining that the show had just lost “85% of its white audience.”
(Even if that were true, we figure Shonda Rhimes is completely unbothered, with three hit shows currently on air.) With an obvious nod to Ferguson and continued shootings of Black men by police, it was a risky show to do, but one everyone felt good about, says Vance.
“When we finished the episode and we knew it was going to be big, we called it “epic,” he says.
Vance is also playing The First Gentlemen as Alfre Woodward‘s husband on State of Affairs, and he says his juggling act includes a mother with ALS and raising 9-year-old twins Bronwyn and Slater with Angela Bassett, his wife of 17 years.
“It’s a blessing to be working,” Vance says as he’s popped up on one show after the next over the past two decades. “The work keeps everything fresh and I enjoy a challenge. And this one was a challenge – they were a week away from shooting and I had to make a decision very quickly.”