Scandal Character Will Not Be Recast, Series Creator Debunks Report

Following an erroneous report that an actor named Eric West had been cast to replace Columbus Short in Scandal, series creator Shonda Rhimes has gone on (Twitter) record to debunk the news, stating that she's never heard of Eric West and confirming without a shadow of a doubt that Harrison is not being recast. Ever.

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Deadline posted a story earlier today stating that Eric West signed on for Scandal's fourth season, to play the role of Harrison Wright, who was originally played by Columbus Short. Deadline has since update their article to note that the information sent to them was a hoax. And Rhimes' Tweet further confirms that no recasting is taking place.

Columbus Short's exit from Scandal was confirmed last month, about ten days after the finale aired, all but assuring that Harrison's run within the story had ended.

SPOILERS If you're not caught up on Scandal through Season 3!

When last we saw Harrison, he was figuring out Rowan's scheming, which included killing Fitz and Mellie's son in an effort to blame Maya, get her back under his thumb and regain the President's trust. Harrison knows all this and Rowan knows Harrison knows, so it seemed all but decided that Rowan would put a bullet into Harrison's brain to make sure none of that information got out. But we never actually see that happen. The gun is pointed at Harrison and that's the last we see of him for the season. Ten days after the episode airs, Columbus Short confirms he's leaving the show, implying that we wouldn't be seeing Harrison (alive) on the series in Season 4. But we've been left with cliffhangers before that were followed by twists. Short's exit all but ensured that Columbus was a goner.

Deadline's original report about West's casting in the series was vague, not mentioning whether he was going to recur or be a series regular when Scandal. It left us to speculate whether or not West was signing on to wrap up some loose ends for Harrison, or if the role was being extended indefinitely. Apparently, neither is the case.

Not only does Rhimes' Tweet confirm that the original report was false, but it also confirms that there's no coming back for Harrison. That much was implied by Columbus Short in the statement he issued when he confirmed he was exiting the series, as he stated that "the time has come for Harrison Wright to exit the canvas," before wishing Rhimes, series star Kerry Washington and the rest of the cast his best. So those hanging on to hope that Harrison will survive his confrontation with Rowan may need to start preparing for the worst between now and Season 4.

Kelly West
Assistant Managing Editor

Kelly joined CinemaBlend as a freelance TV news writer in 2006 and went on to serve as the site’s TV Editor before moving over to other roles on the site. At present, she’s an Assistant Managing Editor who spends much of her time brainstorming and editing feature content on the site.