Adultery: The New 'It' Thing?

Monday, 08 July 2013 01:55 Written by  Hiba Abdillahi

We now live in a world where adultery is not only considered entertaining, but it is acceptable. No, this isn’t a statistic I found on the internet, but it does pose the question: does life imitate art or does art imitate life? ABC’s hit drama, Scandal, is about a crisis management lawyer named Olivia Pope, who fixes political scandals in the Washington D.C-area. The plot twist to the show is Olivia’s affair with the President of the United States. Don’t get me wrong, I am a “gladiator” (frequent watcher of the series) and I am completely hooked on the melodrama, but I can distinguish between television and real life.

ABC's Mistresses

It wasn’t until someone on my Twitter feed tweeted that they look up to the fictional Olivia Pope that it hit me. What’s even worse, that same someone claimed to want a relationship like the one played out on the show. I had an epiphany that made me question everything: is adultery now considered a norm because of the media?

ABC debuted a new show this summer, Mistresses, which is about adulterous relationships among the four main characters. After watching the first episode, I was appalled. For starters, all the characters are women, which makes it seem that only women can be mistresses. How degrading is that? Second, it puts adultery in a positive light. The show’s title says it all.

According to, 92 percent of America feel that having affairs while being married in morally wrong. With that number, it seems like we still know our rights from wrong, but how long do shows like these need to be on air for people to start believing this is okay?

You might not believe it, but television shows really shape our culture. With television shows like these, it is giving the green light for more shows with the same subject matter, same story lines and same theme. I understand sex sells, but how far will you go to make a profit? How do you feel about this new norm?

Hiba Abdillahi

Hiba Abdillahi

Hiba Abdillahi is a student at Columbia College Chicago, majoring in broadcast journalism. She aspires to be an international correspondent.

Hiba can be contacted at