Hasty Pudding Theatricals’ 66th Woman of the Year brought a touch of scandal to Harvard Square on Thursday. Kerry Washington, known to many as Olivia Pope from Shonda Rhimes’ hit TV show “Scandal,” came to campus for a day of celebration and to receive the Pudding Pot, Hasty’s highest honor.
Washington, who arrived in a spirited mood from the L.A. set of “Scandal,” first embarked on a tour of the historic Hasty Pudding Clubhouse, led by group historians Dan Milaschewski ’17 and Betty Lema ’17. Emerging from an initiation ceremony in the basement, she said, “I actually feel closer to all of you.”
Next came a stop to sign the guest book, and then she was given her medal and ceremonial scarf.
“This is beautiful,” Washington said.
“Do you promise to wear it every day?” a Hasty Pudding member joked.
Raising her hands in the air, Washington exclaimed, “Best day ever!”
For millions of Americans, watching “Scandal” on Thursday nights is like gathering around an electronic campfire. At Harvard, the Black Students Association hosts screenings at different locations around campus.
Washington, whose performance in the show has made her a star, took some time during her visit to talk about her work, saying she was initially hesitant about getting into television.
“It was a little bit of a leap into the unknown,” she said. “It was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made in my life to pursue that character [Olivia Pope], then to get it was such a gift.”
Per tradition, Hasty Pudding members dressed in drag paraded Washington down Massachusetts Ave. On either side of the car, fans yelled “Kerry!” in hopes of getting a wave. One spectator remarked, “I think we really connected,” after a return wave from Washington.