Wednesday, March 04, 2015


Last week’s soaps post discussing whether or not actress Victoria Rowell would be able to prove racial discrimination as the reason behind her not being rehired at The Young & the Restless, triggered a great deal of discussion, both in the Comments, on Twitter, and in emails sent directly to me.

One poster wrote: This "Cry Racism" garbage is backfiring across America big time. Millions of people are turned down for jobs every hour. If this narcissistic whiner wasn't happy with how she was treated, then go elsewhere! If the Management had a vendetta against black people, the soap wouldn't have hired her the FIRST time!

While another countered: It's easy for the privileged few to scream racism doesn't exist. It does. And it's evident. No one knows how this woman was treated.

And a third insisted: Oh good Lord I am sick of this racial bull of whining and complaining. She was no great asset to Young and Restless. Been watching since it began. Race is an old excuse and getting old in this day and age.

Interestingly, the bulk of the feedback on Twitter and email came down to the question: Is it possible to dislike a character of a different race, religion, sexuality, etc… and have it be not about the race, religion, and sexuality, but about the character themselves?

Is it racist to have never liked Rowell’s character, Dru, and not want her back now, or is it just a matter of personal preference?

Can you dislike Maya on The Bold & the Beautiful because she’s a bitchy, manipulative social-climber who seduced Rick away from his wife (personally, that’s why I happen to love her, but to each their own), or must it only be because she is currently in an interracial relationship?

Can you think that Days of Our Lives’ Will is a whiny, self-absorbed, spoiled brat who, like his mother before him, is always blaming his bad behavior on someone else, without it automatically being a case of homophobia?

And then there’s the General Hospital two-fer, where Brad is both gay and Asian, but also has a past that includes blackmail, tampering with lab results, and perennial snark (again, why I love him, but I can certainly understand those who feel otherwise).

For every soap character with a rabid fan base, say, Sonny on GH, there is an equally loud group that finds them unpalatable. In this case, no one (to my knowledge) is accusing Sonny-haters of being anti-Greek. They simply don’t happen to believe that an unrepentant mobster who kills people for looking at him funny is prime romantic hero material. Those who love him, point to the dimples, and go from there.

This begs the question, are these the sorts of issues daytime soaps should be dealing with?

Find out what actors, producers and fans of your favorite shows had to say on the subject, and make sure you leave a comment of your own at Entertainment Weekly:

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