07/02/2013 02:33 pm ET Updated Sep 01, 2013

Kerry Washington On 'Scandal' In South Africa: Olivia Pope Is 'Revolutionary In The Medium Of Television'


It's no surprise that ABC's "Scandal" has inspired women everywhere. After all, Olivia Pope (Kerry Washington) has one of the most stressful jobs ever, yet she manages every crisis.

What's most surprising to Washington about the series is how many white women tell her they want to "be" Olivia Pope, especially in places where race relations can be tense.

“It’s especially profound in a place like South Africa,” she told Vanity Fair. “It’s called 'The Fixer' over there, and it just started its second season. The fact that white women can see this woman of color as an aspirational character is revolutionary, I think, in the medium of television. I don’t think white women would feel that way about Olivia if her identity as a woman, period, wasn’t first in their mind.”

"Scandal," which centers on Olivia Pope's crisis management firm and all the personal dramas that come along with it, saw a tremendous amount of success in its first two seasons. But Washington recently told The Guardian that she never checks ratings.

"Looking at ratings is like stepping on the scales, and it's why I never weigh myself," she said. "If the number is a number you don't want it to be, then you're miserable, and if it's a number you want it to be, you spend the rest of the day thinking, oh, I should never eat again so the number stays where it is, right? It's just better that I don't get on the scales."

Season 3 of "Scandal" will premiere on ABC in the fall.

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