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'Just another box': Actress Kerry Washington claims Trump's conviction changes meaning of 'felon'
Photo by Stephane Cardinale - Corbis/Corbis via Getty Images/Kyle Mazza/Anadolu via Getty Images

'Just another box': Actress Kerry Washington claims Trump's conviction changes meaning of 'felon'

Washington said that 'felon' was just a label used to assume who a person is.

Actress Kerry Washington largely defended the label of "felon" in an interview where she said that President Trump's felony convictions have changed what the word will mean to many.

Pointing to a corrupt justice system, Washington said that "everything has changed."

Washington was interviewed by outlet Bustle while doing promotion for her show "UnPrisoned," a television series about a single mother whose father moves in after he gets out of prison. Washington has also starred in "Scandal," "Boston Legal," and "The Simpsons."

Due to the nature of her show, Washington was asked about the definition of "felon," and if it has changed due to Trump's conviction.

'Donald Trump may not be able to vote in his home state.'

"Everything has changed in terms of how I feel about the so-called justice system," Washington replied. "We're in such an interesting moment when it comes to [the question of], 'What is a felon?' I love what people have been sharing on social media, [saying that] if a person who is a convicted felon can still run for president, then we should be removing that box from job applications."

Bustle interviewer Kendra James pointed to the idea that the word would have a "different face" and not one that looks like the actor Delroy Lindo, who plays a felon in the aforementioned "UnPrisoned" series. The allusion to racial connections to the word felon is certainly strange given that Lindo is an incredibly recognizable actor, who has had roles in the movies "Malcolm X," "Get Shorty," and "The Devil's Advocate."

The reporter then stated to Washington, "If a felon can run for president, a felon should be able to vote. Full stop."

Washington then claimed that Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis has been "trying to make it impossible in Trump's home state."

"A bill was passed in Florida to allow formerly incarcerated folks to vote, and DeSantis has been trying to do everything he can to [undercut] that. Donald Trump may not be able to vote in his home state," she claimed.

However, in late May 2024, DeSantis stated that he would ensure Trump would be able to vote in Florida and provide clemency if he had to.

"Given the absurd nature of the New York prosecution of Trump, this would be an easy case to qualify for restoration of rights per the Florida Clemency Board, which I chair," DeSantis said, according to Politico.

Washington's interview continued with racial and serial-activist themes, equating racist stereotypes with astrological stereotypes:

"Being a felon has become just another box that we put people in, to assume who they are and what they're capable of, in the same way we do with gender or race, or that I can do with astrology."

The actress added that the United States has begun to allow a kind of "psychological deepening with felons and returning citizens" and said she was excited that her show helps people "understand and connect to the humanity of returning citizens," by which she meant people getting released from prison.

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Andrew Chapados

Andrew Chapados

Andrew Chapados is a writer focusing on sports, culture, entertainment, gaming, and U.S. politics. The podcaster and former radio-broadcaster also served in the Canadian Armed Forces, which he confirms actually does exist.
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