Scott was born in Hampton, Virginia, on September 16, 1949. He attended New York University's Tisch School of the Arts and earned an MFA before he began his career in Washington D.C.'s Arena Stage. While there, he managed the improv touring company The Living Stage. Scott then moved on to directing plays, including For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide When the Rainbow Is Enuf, which earned him a Drama Desk Award in 1977. In 1982, he directed a TV version of the play. The previous year, he directed his first feature film, Bustin' Loose.
During the 1980s and 1990s, Scott directed several TV series and movies, including Gimme a Break!, Scarecrow and Mrs. King, Crash Course, New Attitude, Civil Wars, American Gothic, Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman, and Providence. In 2002, Scott directed the VH1 TV movie Play'd – A Hip Hop Story, which went on to become the program's highest-rated program. The following year, Scott directed the Disney Channel Original Movie The Cheetah Girls. Since then, he directed episodes of Strong Medicine, Everybody Hates Chris, Boston Legal, The Unit, Medium, CSI: NY, and NCIS. In addition to directing, he wrote episodes of The Jeffersons and served as supervising producer for two episodes of The District.
In 2008, Scott was named the associate artistic director of the Negro Ensemble Company, where he was also named to the board of directors. In his personal life, he lives in Sherman Oaks, California, with his wife, with whom he has three grown children.
Scott has directed the following episodes for Beyond Borders: