back to top
TVAndMovies

People Had Very Mixed Reactions To The Ferguson-Inspired Episode Of "Scandal"

The Mar. 5 installment told the story of an unarmed black teen who was shot and killed by a white police officer in the streets of Washington D.C. WARNING: SPOILERS AHEAD.

Posted on
ABC

The Mar. 5 episode of Scandal, "The Lawn Chair," centered on the story of an unarmed black teen who was shot and killed by a white, male police officer on a Washington D.C. street. The officer had responded to a report of robbery at a cellphone store and when he saw a teenager nearby holding a cellphone still in its box, he shot him.

Fixer Olivia Pope (Kerry Washington) was then hired by the police to keep the incident, and the nearby streets that were quickly filling with neighbors, quiet. But the teen's father, Clarence (Courtney B. Vance), suddenly pulled out a gun and refused to let anyone near his son's body. As things escalated, a neighborhood watchman brought him a lawn chair (hence the episode title) and Clarence sat over his son Brandon's body, armed, for days.

The episode ended with the arrest of the officer who pulled the trigger (turned out, he put a knife under the body to make it look like Brandon was armed) and with Olivia escorting Clarence from the crime scene to the Oval Office where the president (Tony Goldwyn) offered his condolences.

It was immediately clear to viewers that "The Lawn Chair" was addressing the deaths of Mike Brown, Jordan Davis, and Trayvon Martin in recents years and the protests that followed when many felt justice wasn't served. On Scandal, people also gathered in the streets to protest, with Olivia joining them at a certain point. Bystanders used cellphones to capture every move that was made, while the body of a dead black teenager — who, it was revealed, was reaching for his receipt, not a weapon — was laying in the street nearly the entire episode.

The heavy episode yielded a mixed response from Scandal viewers. Some thought it was powerful.

Art depicts life. Powerful Episode and moment #Scandal

Thank you Shonda for reopening the eyes for the people of America that not just #blacklivesmatter #ALLlivesmatter #scandal

Others felt the show shouldn't have taken on current events.

For me, #Scandal is fun campy entertainment. A storyline around a black boy being killed by the police….that’s too real for me

The timing of that speech from the cop and this movement... It wasn't appropriate. #Scandal

Some thought the episode would fail to effect change.

Looks like Scandal has everyone fake caring about police brutality again 😂

You care about Blk lives, community, & feminism? Don't just care when a real life genocide is portrayed on scandal

But others thought it successfully showed all sides of the story.

#Scandal is giving a voice to both sides and showing what's right and what's wrong.

Scandal Dealt with police shootings from the perspective of the officers, victims and those who grieve. And the cop went to jail. Well done!

Even the director of Academy Award nominee for Best Picture, Selma, weighed in.

An episode like this isn't easy. Isn't easy to write. Isn't easy to direct. Isn't easy to get on air. I appreciate the effort. #ScandalABC

As did the woman who inspired Olivia Pope's character.

Just as a parent protects his child, we all must protect each other. #TGIT #Scandal

The one thing everyone can agree on is that Scandal certainly did generate discussion.

The discussion that has been sparked in my house over #Scandal tonight! Thank you @shondarhimes @kerrywashington

Let it be clear, tonight's episode of #Scandal should have made you feel some type of way. Now be a part of the change you wish to see. 💁

Scandal airs on Thursdays at 9 p.m. on ABC.