The list of black actors who have occupied the Oval Office on the big and small screen is long: Richard Pryor, Chris Rock, Dave Chapelle, Terry Crews, Danny Glover, Blair Underwood, Jamie Foxx, 24‘s Dennis Haysbert. Conspicuously missing from that list, though, are black women.
Despite actual female heads of state like Liberia’s Ellen Johnson Sirleaf and high-profile White House aides like former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, we haven’t really seen the black women’s political achievements reflected in pop culture.
Thus it’s great news that Alfre Woodard has been cast as the POTUS in NBC’s State of Affairs, the Katherine Heigl DC drama that’s been billed as “Scandal meets The West Wing.” Heigl would play a CIA adviser who briefs the president on international security issues, with the twist that she’s also the former girlfriend of the president’s deceased son.
If State of Affairs is picked up, Woodard would play the first prominent black female president in film and TV history.