Inside ‘Scandal’s’ Killer Election Twist: It’s "Not a Political Commentary"

[Warning: This story contains spoilers from Scandal‘s deteriorate 6 premiere, “Survival of a Fittest.”]

ABC’s Scandal launched a sixth deteriorate Thursday with an memorable partial in that a Shonda Rhimes drama’s president-elect was assassinated as he was about to broach his acceptance speech. What’s more, a partial takes on additional highlight given that it was creatively scheduled to atmosphere a night before Donald Trump’s inauguration.

The partial drew an supernatural likeness to a country’s new presidential choosing that saw Republican Trump improved Democrat Hillary Clinton and a successive concentration on a electoral college after a latter won a renouned vote. But as producers and stars of a Washington, D.C.-set domestic soap stress, a deteriorate was mostly created good before a Nov choosing and a Trump victory. (For what it’s worth, deteriorate 5 featured a really Trump-like claimant in Hollis Doyle.)

Scandal‘s premiere — behind a week after Trump’s coronation — eventually saw a Democratic claimant Frankie Vargas (Ricardo Chavira) improved Republican initial lady Mellie Grant (Bellamy Young) in a competition that, like a new election, hinged on one county. Ultimately, Vargas was shot mixed times, with a third bullet ripping a hole in a side of his face, going by his skull and into his brain.

It triggers a doubt about a sequence of authority and puts a vigour on obligatory President Fitzgerald Grant (Tony Goldwyn) to collect between his ex-wife or his former arch of staff-turned-Vargas’ VP collect Cyrus (Jeff Perry). In loyal Scandal fashion, Olivia (Kerry Washington) suspects power-hungry Cyrus was behind Vargas’ assassination. While Fitz backs Cyrus over Mellie, a loyal boss will be dynamic by a formula of a electoral college opinion in a distinguished likeness to new domestic events that reliable a Trump victory.

Rhimes and stars Washington and Goldwyn told reporters this month during a Television Critics Association’s winter press debate that a initial few episodes of deteriorate 6 were written and filmed months before a Trump victory, with co-star Young stressing that Scandal‘s star is “complete fiction.”

“[The parallels] are crazy and a small frightening,” Washington told The Hollywood Reporter at a Golden Globes of a partial that was filmed before her maternity leave during a finish of September. “I emailed Shonda immediately [after a election] and a lot of us were endangered with what happens in a premiere and not carrying people consider that that’s something that we wish to happen, obviously.”

Washington and Goldwyn stressed that Scandal has always featured timely subjects — don’t forget that a array is desirous by a life of D.C. fixer Judy Smith and started with a heightened chronicle of a Monica Lewinsky liaison — and has featured timely episodes focusing around Planned Parenthood as good as characters identical to Edward Snowden a year before he done headlines.

Read more‘Scandal’ Election Results Filmed Before Trump Victory as Shonda Rhimes Stresses “There Aren’t Any Similarities”

Scandal is a possess universe; it’s an swap star and is not a domestic commentary; it provides a cathartic counterpoint for people,” Goldwyn told THR at TCA. “That’s what we adore about Scandal: Shonda is not meddlesome in creation a explanation in a same approach she deals with diversity; she chooses to tell stories about a approach a star is. So there’s no polemic going on; it’s not like we predict this function and so it does. We could never have likely a formula of this choosing — or how it played out with a concentration on a electoral college.”

For their part, Rhimes, Washington and Goldwyn all upheld Clinton — contributing work including a video ancillary a former initial lady.   

“It’s really surreal when you’re on a TV uncover that is about a craziest things that could occur in politics and afterwards those things occur in genuine life,” she said. “In Scandal fashion, we didn’t see it entrance during all. It didn’t feel dangerous to me since we’ve had attempted assassinations to Fitz before. It didn’t strike me as anything crazy during a time. It’s crazy in a Scandal way where we design a crazy since that’s who we are.”

As for a network’s preference to check Scandal‘s lapse a week — until after Trump’s coronation instead of a night before — ABC Entertainment Group boss Channing Dungey told THR that she is unapproachable of a partial and relieved to have changed it.

“We talked about a partial behind in November. The law of it is, we do feel that it is a illusory uncover about illusory characters; this illusory account also builds really most on deteriorate five,” she said. “I do consider that in articulate about a uncover and noticing that it’s fiction, we in Nov felt like, ‘You know, this is fine; it’s a story, a TV show.’ When we demeanour now during where a mood of a nation is, I’m not unfortunate about a fact that since ABC News had a special they wanted to run that we were means to pull all by a week. But we mount by a story and consider it’s a illusory episode. we consider that in this stream climate, we consider it’s improved that we’re airing it a week later.”

In terms of how most Scandal will concentration on a electoral college relocating forward, Goldwyn stressed that a deteriorate will follow opposite characters in stuffing in how they arrived during Election Night as a uncover featured a six-month opening between where deteriorate 5 finished and when a new cycle started.

“The electoral college is an ongoing emanate though as things develop, any partial focuses on one character’s perspective,” he said. “It doesn’t get that focused on a machine of a politics. It’s some-more about how we got here; it focuses some-more on a characters than a real-world similarities.”

What did we consider of Scandal‘s deteriorate 6 premiere? Sound off in a comments section, below. Scandal airs Thursdays during 9 p.m. on ABC.