Kerry Washington

July 5, 2013 by  

Kerry Washington, Over the years, Vanity Fair Magazine has had its share of vocal critics when it comes to the diversity of features-or lack thereof-on its highly coveted magazine covers. Few African-Americans have had the opportunity to grace the front of the glossy high profile magazine, and the slim few African-American actresses that made the cut for Vanity Fair’s yearly Hollywood young starlet issue usually found themselves behind the fold.

But 2013 marks the changing of the guard, as actress Kerry Washington graces the August issue. Washington is the first black woman to appear on the cover of Vanity Fair since Beyoncé in 2005 and the only African-American actress to do so alone.

“I did a double take when I saw it on the stands,” said 32-year-old Jasmine Howard from Los Angeles. “Vanity Fair has great articles but I usually don’t buy it because they have so few faces of color on the outside or inside. I bought this one as soon as I saw it.”

It seems Washington’s head-turning role, as Olivia Pope on the hit ABC show Scandal, is too hot and too juicy to ignore. The show is loosely based on the life of Judy Smith, a D.C. consultant and lawyer, and started as a mid-season replacement in its first season. In its second season, the show has become a runaway hit and the shining star of ABC’s Thursday night lineup. A great deal of the show’s success can be traced Washington’s dead-on performance as a no-nonsense Washington power player, who finds herself knee deep in some of the city’s most high profile scandals.

But fans of the popular television show have even more reasons to celebrate Vanity Fair’s new cover. While Washington has sizzled on the small screen in Scandal, and on the large screen in last year’s major box office draw Django Unchained, mainstream magazine covers have been few and far between for the actress. She recently appeared on the June issue of Elle, but other covers have mostly been limited to African-American publications.

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