According to DigitalSpy.com, Thursday’s Ferguson-inspired episode of Scandal attracted 8.95 million viewers. The show quickly began trending on both Twitter and Facebook thanks to an episode entitled “The Lawnchair” featuring a plot that very well could’ve been ripped out of daily headlines. Courtney B. Vance guest starred as a father named Clarence Parker, who was directly touched by a conflict involving his son and the police. He says he found the episode just as gripping as viewers from his side of the camera lens.
“We were fighting against the emotion the entire episode,” Vance told People.com in an exclusive interview. “There were scenes where I was broken, but [director Tom Verica] said, ‘Courtney please, hold back that so we get the payoff at the end.’”
The airing of the episode coincided with the Department of Justice publicizing a 102-page investigation of the Ferguson, Missouri Police Department after a jury failed to indict Officer Darren Wilson for the August 2014 shooting of unarmed teenager Michael Brown. Vance said viewers reached out to him directly about the impact of the episode, and he expressed hopes it and other events would allow a dialogue to continue.
“There’s a lot of dialogue that needs to happen on both sides so that we can co-exist and get back to the place where they’re there to take care of us and begin to see police as our protectors and not our enemies,” Vance added. “Work needs to happen on both sides to heal our breach.”
The full interview can be read at People.com.