What Would Judy Do?: Truth or Consequences

By Judy A. Smith | Jan 31st, 2013
Olivia Pope

In this week we find everything beginning to catch up with Olivia sending her into a state of depression so deep that she cannot even get out of bed. The usual indomitable Olivia is down for the count; the result of a continual turn of events evolving from, specifically, the election tampering to her more general mistake of letting her own personal feelings for the President compromise her ethics. Olivia decides it’s time to at least attempt to set things right and try to return to her central self.

Is there ever a point where it’s too late to “do the right thing?” Each situation and individual is different but generally I would say it’s never too late to start doing what you know is right, which usually means to start telling the truth, admit to making mistakes and choose whatever appropriate behavior is dictated, whether it is resigning your position or even facing criminal charges. The American public has shown itself to be very forgiving and open to giving a person a second chance, but they must believe the person is being sincere. If the person embroiled in the scandal is now forthcoming one has to wonder if they are only doing so to protect themselves or whether it’s actual regret and guilt over what they have done and whatever actions they’ve taken to cover it up. In general, the more lies told, continued denials and attempted cover ups will undermine your credibility. When you have a situation like Lance Armstrong where the cheating has been going on for so long and to such lengths to hide the truth, it’s not surprising if people now question his true motives of his recent confessions.

Although Olivia would rather not face any consequences she is prepared to do so to recover her old self. She can no longer abide by her own behavior especially when people’s lives are put at risk. For her, the time has come to stop sinking deeper and deeper into the mess that has been created. She knows she can’t undo what she has done but she can start doing what she believes in, what she knows to be right.


Judy A. Smith is the founder and President of Smith and Company, a leading strategic and crisis communications firm with offices in Washington D.C. and Los Angeles as well as a Co-Executive Producer of ABC's Scandal. You can follow her on Twitter (@JudySmith_) or "Like" her on Facebook, and you can get more information about managing personal and professional crisis situations by visiting her site,


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