Well, here’s as situation we don’t think Scandal's Olivia Pope and Associates could just get fixed in a jiffy. Some little troublemaker tried to mess with our hearts, stirring up rumors that Columbus Short’s character, Harrison Wright, is going to be replaced with another actor in Season 4.

Deadline.com originally reported the May 7 newsflash, thought to have come from ABC, stating that an actor named Eric West would be stepping in as Liv’s right hand man when Season 4 picks up this fall. We’d assumed that in the Season 3 finale, Rowan Pope (Joe Morton) had killed off our boy Harrison when he confronted him in the final scenes. So, you can imagine our shock when the news came out.

While a bunch of news was confusing, the only thing we did know was that Columbus Short is definitely not returning, as the actor released a statement on April 25. “At this time I must confirm my exit from a show I’ve called home for 3 years, with what is the most talented ensemble on television today. I would like to first thank Shonda Rhimes for the opportunity to work with such an amazing cast,” Columbus wrote. He added, “Everything must come to an end and unfortunately the time has come for Harrison Wright to exit the canvas.” Ya see why the originally reported news was such a shock?

Deadline TV editor Nellie Andreeva came back this afternoon with an updated post, writing “Sorry, Scandal fans. In the rush of upfront news, a release purported to be from ABC about an actor named Eric West, whose name had been circulated for weeks, replacing troubled Scandal co-star Columbus Short got to me. It turns out it was an elaborate hoax, which is very unfortunate. It is unclear yet whether Short would be replaced.”

But showrunner Shonda Rhimes was quick to jump on the real talk train, when she tweeted,

“I've never heard of Eric West.  Harrison is not being recast EVER.  How about reporters CHECK THEIR SOURCES before running with a story?” Got that, people? The only one allowed to tell riveting stories is our girl Shonda. She followed it up withUm, @Deadline? Handle yourself.”

Wow, we would not want to be on Shonda’s bad side, that’s for sure. But while it was all handled a little awkwardly today, at least we know that Harrison’s role will either die with Columbus Short, or perhaps be mysteriously disappeared in the Season 4 opener. Either way, it’s over for Mr. Wright.

What do you think of the Columbus Short/Harrison Wright/Eric West confusion today?

Source: Deadline.com, Shonda Rhimes on Twitter


Julia Wayne is an Editor at Wetpaint Entertainment. Follow her on Twitter and Google+!