Kerry Washington headed to Harvard University on Thursday to receive the 2016 Hasty Pudding Award from the Hasty Pudding Theatricals, the university’s prominent theater troupe. Though the Scandal star didn’t hesitate to goof around, she did get serious for a moment when voicing her support for the movement to diversify the Academy Awards.
When asked if she would participate in an Oscars boycott over the lack of diversity among nominees, Washington replied, “I don’t think so, no.”
She continued, “I’m really excited that the conversation is happening. It needs to happen, and the Oscars are a symptom of a larger issue. We need more voices at the table. We need our art to reflect all of us.”
Earlier in the day, Washington, 38, rode in a convertible as she was paraded around the streets of Cambridge, Massachusetts, flanked by Hasty Pudding members in drag. Later, she took the stage of Farkas Hall, where the troupe ordered her to smash a pi ata and pop balloons with her face on them.
“I’m truly, truly honored to join in the esteemed ranks of women who have made asses of themselves on this stage,” Washington told the crowd. “This is the best worst day ever.”
The star also showed off her singing skills, belting out “Rock-a-Bye Baby” to one troupe member dressed up in a baby costume and showing off her spot-on Tina Turner impression with a rousing rendition of “What’s Love Got to Do With It?”
Before her parade and Pudding Pot presentation, Washington headed to Parsnip Restaurant & Lounge for her Woman of the Year lunch with students, where she went around the table asking them questions and playing ice breakers. Washington was clad in jeans, a black leopard-print sweatshirt and, of course, her Hasty Pudding medal throughout the vegetarian meal of potato and cep tortellini, marinated mushrooms, and broccoli rabe and marjoram, followed by poached pears, lemon sorbet and candied citrus.
As for her upcoming 39th birthday on Sunday, Washington said she does have celebratory plans, but remained tight-lipped on the details.
“I’m not going to tell you,” said Washington, who welcomed a daughter, Isabelle Amarachi, in April of 2014, with her husband, former football player Nnamdi Asomugha. “But I will be with loved ones in a special place.”