THAT’s not a pumpkin, Charlie Brown! It’s no secret that ABC’s Scandal is filled with raunchy sex scenes and torrid affairs, but parents (and presumably some kids) got a surprise when It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown ended around 9 p.m. ET last Thursday, Oct. 30. Seconds later Scandal began and the opening scene featured main character Olivia Pope (Kerry Washington) having a graphic sex dream in which both President Fitzgerald Grant (Tony Goldwyn) and her boyfriend Jake (Scott Foley) make love to her.
In signature Scandal style, there were moans, plenty of skin, and a catchy soundtrack (“Summer Breeze” by Seals & Crofts). But not all parents found the jarring transition from G-to nearly R-rated fare to be amusing. In fact, the Parents Television Council released a statement bashing ABC for its failure to shield children from the racy content.
“Shame on ABC for putting a peep show next to a playground,” PTC President Tim Winter wrote in the statement (via The Washington Post). “In less than 26 seconds, we were taken from the Peanuts pumpkin patch to a steamy ‘Scandal’ sex scene.”
Winter felt that the lack of transition and appropriate warning was a reflection on the network more than the show.
“Unless parents had the remote control in their hand, thumb on the button and aimed directly at the TV screen, they didn’t have a chance,” he continued. “Such a transition is grossly irresponsible by the network and entirely unfair for parents. ABC owes families an apology.”
Lately the only opinion that matters during the Thursday night lineup is that of the leader of Shondaland, showrunner Shonda Rhimes. So what does she think of the awkward moment? Turns out, she’s a major Peanuts fan.
“(My assistant @abbyrchambers just told me that she has never seen a SINGLE Charlie Brown special. She makes me soooo sad.),” Rhimes tweeted, and when a Peanuts parody handle (@Snoopy) wrote, “@shondarhimes Thank you for letting us be part of #TGIT! Does that make us Gladiators? We hope so! Hi @abbyrchambers,” she seemed delighted, retweeting and calling the handle out.
Rhimes also retweeted a fan who noted, “@shondarhimes The leap from Charlie Brown to the first scene of #Scandal #CloseYourEyesKiddies.”