compare and contrast

Scandal’s Fitz vs. the Divergent Dad: Comparing Tony Goldwyn’s Leadership Skills

Photo: Summit Entertainment and ABC

In Divergent, Tony Goldwyn plays Andrew Prior, father of the protagonist and council member in the dystopian government that runs Chicago. On Scandal, Tony Goldwyn plays Fitz Grant, President of the United States and unrepentant philanderer. Both men are leaders in their community. Both men are … pretty bad at being leaders of their community. Stuff’s always going wrong. But which Tony Goldwyn character is worse at his job? Gather round, fellow management consultants, and let’s find out!

Management style and general charm
Fitz: President Fitz usually has no clue what is going on, which allows everyone else to take care of things for him, like fix elections or murder people. Mostly he just whimpers and whines about how he doesn’t really want to be president anymore and wants to flit off to Vermont, where he can watch Olivia make jam. He is pretty, though, and once in a while, he delivers a rousing speech.
Andrew Prior: ‪Technically, Andrew is not the leader of Abnegation — that honor goes to Four’s father, Marcus — but he serves on the Council, and therefore could theoretically have some impact on the way that Abnegation governs the city of Chicago. Instead, he sits around wringing his hands and trying to make nice with the opposition. Charisma is negligible, though that’s not totally his fault; he’s supposed to behave like a drip.‬
Who’s worse: Andrew Prior

State of the Union
Fitz: Politics in Shondaland is fairly free of policymaking, so it’s hard to know what is actually going on in America. How’s the economy? What’s going on with China? One thing we do know is that he detained the head of secret spy branch B613 and Olivia’s father, Rowan Pope, allowing Olivia’s terrorist mother Maya to flee the country and continue her nefarious plots. Oops.
Andrew Prior: Chicago is a goddamn mess — crumbling buildings, massive homeless population, civil unrest — and the government is powerless to help. It can’t even muster an attack on rebel forces.
Who’s worse: Andrew Prior

Career achievements
Fitz: We here at Vulture aren’t ones to cast aspersions on alcoholics, who have a long road to travel, but Fitz’s effectiveness as president may be hampered by his love of the elevenses. In terms of substantive policies, other than grousing about the state of East Sudan, Fitz hasn’t accomplished much during his first term. He did score one win in season one, though, when he convinced his vice-president, Sally Langston, to cast her tie-breaking vote in favor of the DREAM Act. Otherwise, Fitz doesn’t do much. So like, when Fitz got shot and was in a coma, America seemed to be doing okay.
Andrew Prior: Uh, dude just sits around glowering while his two children defect from Abnegation and Evil Kate Winslet slanders everyone around him. Then he disappears for a while. But when he’s finally forced into action, Andrew displays a remarkable amount of bravery [spoiler alert] — for about ten seconds, until he dies.
Who’s worse: Fitz.

Corruption or other legal issues
Fitz: Part of not doing anything means never having to sully your hands. Whenever Fitz finds out about some corrupt thing his wife/chief of staff/lover did for his sake, first he complains about how he can’t trust anyone, but then eventually succumbs to whatever terrible thing they did. Because inertia.
Andrew Prior: Andrew is pretty blameless on this front — unless you count the fact that he’s a staunch supporter of Marcus, who turns out to be an abusive father and a generally self-interested asshole.
Who’s worse: Fitz

Moral Integrity
Fitz: Depending on where you stand on adultery — or now what might be more fairly termed as an open marriage — Fitz’s tumultuous relationship with Olivia is the height of iniquity. We’ll give him a moral pass on that, though, because his love for Olivia seems to be the only thing he’s actually committed to. The greater moral stain came when he smothered Supreme Court Justice Verna Thornton with a pillow in the hospital. (Although to be fair, she was dying of terminal cancer and hired an assassin to kill him on his birthday.)
Andrew Prior: His whole life is dedicated to selflessness. You’re not gonna find anything on him.
Who’s worse: Fitz

And your winner is: President Fitz! Not even a sad, poorly dressed future-person could unseat him as the Worst Leader in the Tony Goldwyn Universe. Congratulations to him, and to Olivia Pope, who will always have a job cleaning up after this guy.

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