I was super-pissed when they cast Barbara Niven as Keri Reynolds's mother when I was all pumped up for a new African-American leading lady.
I wish they'd reverse-cast Blair with Mia Korf, which would force the revisiting of the Starr, Jack, & Hope castings. That would reinforce diversity pretty much immediately.
I think a lot of this argument is moot because EVERY casting is basically a shoehorn. One can't claim Rex is virtually a Buchanan when his link, Natalie, was a shoehorn into an already too-complicated history of Jessica's birth.
The Buchanans were shoehorned into the Lord family and basically ate it alive (where'd Meredith go? Victor? Tony? Oh yeah... DEAD.) Nora shoehorned into the Buchanans (shedding the Gannons). Natalie was shoehorned into the Buchanans. Rex was shoehorned into Natalie's history (and later Mitch's). Gigi & Shane shoehorned into Rex's. Brody into Gigi's. Stacy into Gigi's. Schuyler into Stacy's. Kim into Stacy's.
Let's look at all the current cast... (I'm skipping the Buchanans collectively, since I just covered that)
Blair - Shoehorned into the Cramers through a long-thought-dead Addie, then regressively recast with white, southern Kassie DePaiva.
Brody - See previous paragraph.
Charlie - Shoehorned through the Gigi introduction story, then tied to Jared, who was shoehorned into Jessica's alter Tess's off-screen history.
Cole - Extension of shoehorn Marty.
Cristian - Minority Romeo to white Jessica, family was built around him and Carlotta, introduced as Dorian's maid.
Danielle - Extension of shoehorn Tea.
Destiny - Shoehorned into Matthew's story. Family built around her and Shaun who was introduced through ill-fated Vincent Jones, who was intro'd through Cristian.
Dorian - Shoehorned into the Lord family. Cramers built around her.
Gigi - See previous paragraph.
Greg - Shoehorned in through Destiny/Shaun.
John - The definition of a shoehorn, coming in through Shoehorn Natalie, McBains built around him consisting of Michael who essentially destroyed the Al Holden character and expedited shoehorn Marcie off the show, and Eve, who was shoehorned into Bo's life, then vanished. Never mind that mess Shannon McBain. Marcie, by the way, was an off-shoot of Jen Rappaport, an off-shoot of Sam & Lindsay, who were an off-shoot of Nora and Todd.
Kimberly - See previous paragraph.
Kyle - Shoehorned into history as Rebecca Lewis's never-before-mentioned brother, and introduced through shoehorns Natalie and Jared.
Langston - Shoehorned into the Cramers through Starr.
Layla - Shoehorned into the show through Evangeline, who was shoehorned in through Mitch Laurence during his previous stint.
Markko - Shoehorned in through Cole, Langston, Starr.
Marty - Shoehorned into the Lord orbit via her lupus which played on Viki's recently dead daughter Megan.
Mitch - Satellite character shoehorned into the Lord orbit (through Tina, Viki) and a family built around him (Jessica, Rex, Roxy, Walker (also Todd), Miles)
Oliver - Shoehorned into the canvas through the police department, Bo/John.
Rachel - Extension of Shoehorn Hank and now Nora.
Rex - See previous paragraph.
Robert Ford - Shoehorned in through David Vickers, a shoehorn to the Lords (in his introductory story) and the Buchanans (in recent story).
Roxy - Shoehorned into Viki's off-screen history.
Schuyler - Shoehorned into the Todd/Starr babynapping story, then attached to Stacy.
Shane - See previous paragraph.
Starr - Extension of shoehorns Blair and Todd.
Tea - Shoehorned into the Vega family history and then attached to Todd.
Todd - Shoehorned into the Lords through much convoluted backstory AFTER leading the gang-rape of Marty.
Viki is the ONLY original character. EVERYTHING else has been a shoehorn in some form or another. And I hope to NEVER have to write the word "shoehorn" ever again.
Rachel's phasing out is definitely devastating to me because as sad at it is, the black characters tied to white core families have the best CHANCE of survival (logically, with familial story purposes), but the show clearly gave up on Rachel despite even tying her to several "new" characters like Matthew and Schuyler. It's the same feeling I had when Justus Ward was horribly miscast (twice) and senselessly murdered on GH. I will never understand that decision.