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“Scandal” Cast Hits Up PALEYFEST In L.A., Donald Trump Inspired Character On Deck + Jerrika Hinton Nabs Lead Role In “Toast”

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The entire “Scandal” cast was front and center at PALEYFEST 2016 in L.A. yesterday. Peep the pics and get the deets on a Donald Trump inspired character coming to the show and more. Also, TGIT star Jerrika Hinton just landed a lead role in an upcoming ABC series titled "Toast." More inside...

 

The gang's all here!

Last night, the entire “Scandal” cast, including show creator Shonda Rhimes, made their way to The Paley Center For Media's 33rd Annual PALEYFEST at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood to chop about the 5th season of the hit ABC series.

Before making their way to the panel…

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ELLE magazine cover girl Kerry Washington sashayed on the red carpet at the PALEYFEST event looking her usual gorgeous self.

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The fab mom worked the carpet in a tiered Ulyana Sergeenko Couture hand-knitted Yelets lace dress and ankle strap sandals. Not our favorite look from the "Scandal" star, but she's still a fab chick nonetheless. 

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“Scandal” creator and showrunner Shonda Rhimes is looking extra snatched these days! After dropping over 117lbs with healthy eating and exercise, Ms. Rhimes is looking amazing.

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Heeeey Papa Pope! EMMY winner Joe Morton was all smiles as he snapped it up for the photogs.

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New gladiator Cornelius Smith Jr. struck a pose on the carpet before joining his castmates on the panel.

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He smiles! Our fave gladiator Guillermo Díaz also hit the carpet.

Inside...

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The “Scandal” cast served up a few tidbits about what fans can expect for the rest of the season, including a new character coming to the show.

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The cast teased that there will be a Donald Trump-inspired character coming to the show. How fitting.

This week’s episode was screened during the panel discussion, but we’ll have to wait and see who will play the Trump character. What we know is that the character has been seen on the show before. Hmm…we can’t wait to see who it is.

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Later in the discussion, Shonda Rhimes revealed that she changed up some storylines to reflect what’s going on in politics right now. She said, “We did have some moments where I would run back to the writers room and I would say, ‘Hey there’s some dialogue that we need to cross out because it kind of already happened.'”

While Shonda may be inspired by a few current events, she said that’s not the only place she’s drawing inspiration from. She continued, “I will be honest and say I am more influenced by Hamilton right now than the election,” she said, referring to the hit Broadway musical. “The election right now, it’s its own thing. You can’t make that stuff up.”

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Shonda also touched on the abortion Olivia Pope had during one of this season's episodes. When asked if Olivia would be revealing her abortion to President Fitz, she said, “My question is, does he have to? A woman made a choice about her body." Hmmm...thoughts?  Should a woman tell a man that she has decided to terminate a pregnancy, or is it solely the woman’s choice without including the man neither before nor after?

After the panel...

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Kerry had some fun with a selfie stick in the audience.

Then she snapped a few fun selfies with her castmates:

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Fun times!

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Peep a few clips of Kerry, Joe and Shonda dishing on the Donald Trump storyline and presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton visiting the set below:

In other ABC news....

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“Grey’s Anatomy” co-star Jerrika Hinton has landed a lead role on a new series coming to ABC. She has been cast as the female lead opposite Jono Kenyon in ABC’s hybrid comedy pilot “Toast,” according to Deadline. Jerrika has guest starred on “Scandal” and was promoted to a regular on “Grey’s” in season 10.

“Grey’s Anatomy” creator Shonda Rhimes will executive produce the new series that will hail from the all mighty ShondaLand. “Scandal” star Scott Foley co-wrote the marriage comedy series with his friend Greg Grunberg.

Deadline gives a synopsis of the series that reads:

"Toast" revolves around engaged couple Max Leeds (Kenyon) and Page (Hinton), who, over their wedding rehearsal dinner, have their eclectic family and friends give toasts recalling anecdotes about the couple — but flashbacks reveal that the toasts don’t always get it right, as we watch the true story of their complicated, funny and relatable road to marriage.

Hinton’s Page is Max’s confident, no-nonsense, self-aware, soon-to-be bride. She’s spent most of her life working very hard but feeling a bit sheltered by her well-to-do Texas family. In an effort to breakthe mold, Page finds herself wanting to take a risk with the charismatic but awkward Max.

Will you be watching?

Photos: Getty/@paleycenter

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