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ajsp35801

Y&R: RIP Kristoff St John

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23 minutes ago, DramatistDreamer said:

 

In some ways it was worse, considering the relatively brief time vs. the lasting damage the characterization and storyline did. 

 

Marshall Traver was the first black man in ATWT's history who was allowed to show unbridled sexuality.  As much as I loved Detective Roy Franklin, the show made him lose Jessica's affections to Duncan McKechnie (a character who was allowed to be ultra-masculine, highly sexual, wild, mysterious and yes, a bit dangerous)  and people kept complaining about how boring they thought safe Ben Harris was and similar to Neil/KSJ, many began to equate this somehow with the fault of the actor, rather than the writing.

 

Making Marshall a rapist sent a very clear message that not only was it dangerous to show that type of open sexuality in a black man but, if it involved a highly educated, refined and savvy black man--that type of unrestrained sexuality was downright criminal and had to be met with the ultimate form of punishment.  You never had another black character on the show with that type of agency for the rest of the show's run.  The damage was irreversible.

This is about a completely different type of show, but some years back I read an article about Eric Monte and What's Happening!! and how the character Rerun came to be. According to him a pilot of Cooley High was not green lit because the character of Cochise was too handsome and they didn't want the white female audience developing crushes, so the show was retooled and Rerun was created in that character's place. So black men actually being appealing on television was and to a certain extent still is a problem.

 

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41 minutes ago, Faulkner said:

I wonder if he suggested Tank as a Malcolm recast.

 

Daytime has a long history of emasculating/cuckolding or vilifying black men. Little room for in between. They did the same with RJ on OLTL when Evangeline went to John. (And RJ had served the baddie role to Hank’s good guy earlier on.) So interesting how the writing for certain groups always follows the same patterns.

 

Now that malcolm casting had a better chance at working! 

 

Evangeline went to John to play second banana to his big love with Natalie. RME. Speaking of Evangeline...REGs Evangeline was another popular black female who grew above the shows expectations and limits set for black females.  Unsurprisingly, a daytime show couldn't come to terms with her either. Definitely a pattern. 

22 minutes ago, alphanguy74 said:

I've seen them more often than not, take a criminal or low life and "Redeem" them. They certainly did it with Jazz and Nathan. 

 

"More often that not"? Shows redeeming black male characters? 

12 minutes ago, ReddFoxx said:

This is about a completely different type of show, but some years back I read an article about Eric Monte and What's Happening!! and how the character Rerun came to be. According to him a pilot of Cooley High was not green lit because the character of Cochise was too handsome and they didn't want the white female audience developing crushes, so the show was retooled and Rerun was created in that character's place. So black men actually being appealing on television was and to a certain extent still is a problem.

 

 

Ha! Wow. 

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I thought Evangeline was an appallingly written character.

 

At the end of the day, while representation is important, black people and all races won’t stay hooked if the writing and character quality is subpar. 

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Also, Theo on DAYS. Rare black male (himself a DiMera legacy character) as desired sex symbol in a triangle with two legacy characters who happened to be white. Ron Carlivati came on, had him shot, paralyzed, and shipped out of town. (Black characters are also almost always most expendable during regime changes. Never allowed to build momentum, continuity, equity to create viewer investment.)

 

Now, the actor wasn’t great (nor are a lot of folks on DAYS), but his treatment spoke volumes.

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25 minutes ago, ReddFoxx said:

This is about a completely different type of show, but some years back I read an article about Eric Monte and What's Happening!! and how the character Rerun came to be. According to him a pilot of Cooley High was not green lit because the character of Cochise was too handsome and they didn't want the white female audience developing crushes, so the show was retooled and Rerun was created in that character's place. So black men actually being appealing on television was and to a certain extent still is a problem.

 

I think I read an interview with Eric Monte about that.  It's interesting to see the difference in perception between Monte and Norman Lear in regards to how things were at Good Times, in particular.  As much as I respect the work that Lear has done, I tend to believe Monte's version because Lear was an executive producer who was at more of a distance from what happened "on the ground" compare to Monte who, as HW was "in the trenches". 

 

That's an interesting anecdote about how the character of ReRun came into existence, I don't remember ever hearing about that one.

 

I definitely thing there was a push to make black male characters seem the least threatening as humanly possible, even if it meant total or near total emasculation.  On comedy, it was even easier to do, which is probably why there were so few dramatic series with black casts as opposed to sitcoms.  It was deemed to risky for the bean counting executives at the studios.

18 minutes ago, ajsp35801 said:

"More often that not"? Shows redeeming black male characters? 

 

Which one of the characters was originally called "Kong"?:ph34r:

 


To use a phrase "More often than not" most redemptions of black male characters happened via white savior, who was usually the featured protagonist anyway, with the black guy serving as some type of sidekick element.

 

FWIW, though I do think Bill Bell Sr. saw how bad things looked with Kong, uhm, I mean Jazz and tried to do better with poor illiterate (another soap trope) Nathan.  At least with Nathan, his redemption came through mostly Amy, who did teach him to read. Paul was still part of the white savior narrative though.

 

Of course, it got to be a bit too much when the same illiterate trope was repeated with Drucilla.  Again, they used easy reader Nathan to help bring about Dru's redemption, which also included Dru's ballerina teacher.

 

Stereotypes and tropes are hard to let go of, I guess.

Edited by DramatistDreamer

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11 minutes ago, DramatistDreamer said:

 

I think I read an interview with Eric Monte about that.  It's interesting to see the difference in perception between Monte and Norman Lear in regards to how things were at Good Times, in particular.  As much as I respect the work that Lear has done, I tend to believe Monte's version because Lear was an executive producer who was at more of a distance from what happened "on the ground" compare to Monte who, as HW was "in the trenches". 

 

That's an interesting anecdote about how the character of ReRun came into existence, I don't remember ever hearing about that one.

 

I definitely thing there was a push to make black male characters seem the least threatening as humanly possible, even if it meant total or near total emasculation.  On comedy, it was even easier to do, which is probably why there were so few dramatic series with black casts as opposed to sitcoms.  It was deemed to risky for the bean counting executives at the studios.

 

Which one of the characters was originally called "Kong"?:ph34r:

 


To use a phrase "More often than not" most redemptions of black male characters happened via white savior, who was usually the featured protagonist anyway, with the black guy serving as some type of sidekick element.

 

I'm sitting here wracking my brain to come up with black male characters that came on as villains to be redeemed, by a white savior or without, to last past their initial story arc and contract. 

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David Grant on GL was initially a troubled character who is black, but evolved past that. Too bad they had no idea what do do with him once Monti Sharp left the role. 

Edited by BetterForgotten

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As VR has been saying forever- there has to be diversity behind the scenes and interest for these things to truly change.  While Bill Bell did not lead a diverse writing staff, he knew a hit when he saw it, was interested in those characters and allowed the talent to have input, even in something so basic as allowing them to interpret the scripts instead of just saying exactly the words written.

 

The things that would save these soaps have always included more diverse storytelling.  The fact that women are written so badly and all people of color are so horribly represented in these soaps is part of the death of the genre.  Think about these shows in the 1990’s.  It’s appaling.

 

They haven’t done so well by LGBTQ characters either.  But a huge difference is that they have those people represented in staff at all levels, and it just isn’t the same with people of color.

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2 hours ago, DeeeDee said:

It's interesting to see so many posters pay 'respect' to KSJ & Neil when for decades all they ever did was insult him, insist he be written off and/or replaced with any number of other Black actors/characters.

Some of them could only see him as part of the Drucilla and Neil  supercouple and couldn't accept him moving on with anybody. Nothing he done was never good enough. I was thinking about about Neil and the double standards when it came to character this a couple of days before he passed. Unfortunately, I don't have that to debate about anymore. RIP KSJ.

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1 minute ago, sivad40 said:

Some of them could only see him as part of the Drucilla and Neil  supercouple and couldn't accept him moving on with anybody. Nothing he done was never good enough. I was thinking about about Neil and the double standards when it came to character this a couple of days before he passed. Unfortunately, I don't have that to debate about anymore. RIP KSJ.

I was probably the only person who liked him with Karen. It’s just too bad they didn’t given Nia Peeples anything to play until Karen slapped the mess out of Neil in that final scene. But in the churn of writers and producers, they never gave any of his relationships complexity or time to belief.

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6 minutes ago, DeeeDee said:

There was nothing wrong with making Marshall a rapist beyond not writing for him.

Certainly, many white male characters are rapists and stick around, often paired with their victims. Not that it’s any less exploitative and misogynistic for a black man to do it, but it’s a clear difference in how characters are treated due to race.

4 minutes ago, BetterForgotten said:

I guess, people still overlook Malcolm having sex with Dru when she was in a heavily drugged state.

It was basically swept under the rug for years, though, right?

Edited by Faulkner

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