“Scandal” creator Shonda Rhimes recently revealed that ABC wanted “Nashville” star Connie Britton to play the role of Olivia Pope.

While speaking with The Hollywood Reporter, Rhimes recounted a time when someone from the network told her that the lead role would have been perfect for Britton. However, Rhimes knew that she wanted Olivia to be an African-American woman.

“I didn’t know that there hadn’t been a drama series with a leading black woman for 37 years. When the show got picked up to pilot, I got a phone call from somebody who said, ‘This would be the perfect show for Connie Britton.’ I said, ‘It would be, except Olivia Pope is black,’” she said.

Read: Who will become president in the 100th episode of “Scandal”?

Casting director Linda Lowy added that the network heads gave them names of possible leads, but all of them were white women. After careful discussions, the network agreed that Olivia should be an African-American character. Washington, Anika Noni Rose and Jill Scott all auditioned for the role that was later on given to the former.

“She could talk Washington more than I could talk Washington. She was different than what I originally envisioned. We were all like, ‘Oh my God,’ because she’s tiny, cute, pretty and younger – and because she has all those things, she was aware that people would underestimate her,” Rhimes said.

Meanwhile, “Scandal” will be airing its 100th episode on Thursday, April 13 at 9 p.m. EST. In “The Decision,” the what-might-have-happened episode will see Olivia making a vastly different decision with regards to the election. Instead of agreeing to fix the election that put Fitz (Tony Goldwyn) in power, she would say no to changing the results.