Friday, November 14, 2008

MULTITUDE

As The World Turns gets a second Jade Taylor when Davida Williams joins the cast on December 17, 2008.

Jade, last seen in the summer of 2007, is Lily's niece, the daughter her late twin, Rose, gave up for adoption at birth. Though it was never stated outright, the suggestion is that Rose surrendered Jade in part because her baby was biracial.

Jade will be the second African-American/White character on the canvas. Bonnie McKechnie is the daughter of Jessica and Duncan (read their story, here).



In the past, we've also met Oakdale's multiracial Hope Dixon, daughter of Andy and Denise (who was the baby switched at birth with Faith Snyder) and Lien Hughes (first played by Ming Na, above), Tom's daughter with a woman he fell in love with in Vietnam.



Guiding Light features Leah, Rick and Mel's daughter, as well as, back in the 1980s, the illegitimate Spauldings of Barbados and more recently and so briefly, poor little Max.

The first front burner mixed race character in daytime was Mia Elliot (Nancy Hsueh) on Love is a Many Splendored Thing in 1967. Mia was the Eurasian daughter of a dead Korean War soldier who moved to San Francisco from Hong Kong and fell in love with a white man. Though the show would run until 1973, Mia was written out after the first year. Creator Irna Phillips was so furious when the network told her to kill the interracial romance due to viewer anger, that she quit the show.

Since those days, other soap opera mixed race characters have included Keemo on Y&R, Rachel, Keri and little Jamie on OLTL, Vincent and the entire Lopez-Fitzgerald clan on Passions, GH's Tom Jr., Lexie on DOOL, Marcus on B&B, Jamal, Maddie and now Natalia on AMC. (What's interesting is that in the 1990s, when Y&R had their Big Four: Victoria Rowell, Kristoff St. John, Tonya Lee Williams and Shemar Moore, all of the actors were biracial, while their characters were not. Christel Khalil who now plays "their" daughter Lily is another multiracial actress playing a non-multiracial character, as is GL's Yvonna Wright.)

Courtesy of the President Elect, mixed race people are at the forefront of America's consciousness, with an ongoing debate about self versus group versus private versus public identification and all of the identity issues surrounding it.

Is this something you would like to see the soaps address?

Let us know in the Comments below!

2 comments:

dana said...

It would be interesting but you never showed Rick and Mel as a couple. It would have been nice if you had kept her to her real age so that Rick and Mel could have a conversation as to how to raise her with both sides of her identity. But it's a shame that you aged her so much. It would have been great to see Leah and Emma (who is a couple of months older, not 10 years younger) grow up together. I feel cheated out of that.

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