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Racism and racial representation on soaps


Faulkner

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2 hours ago, All My Shadows said:

The Carla wedding clip from OLTL posted earlier just makes me so sad. Knowing how much time and care was put into the character and her story in the beginning and how many conversations the characters had onscreen, prompting conversations for the audience...and knowing that the vast majority of that incredible work has been lost forever, leaving Carla's video representation in the show's history down to ridiculous waste of time sht like this wedding...it's just sad.

I’d been watching some Carla/Ed clips from the ‘80s, long after their heyday. Even throwaway clips show their chemistry. Al Freeman, Jr. just has this laidback Humphrey Bogart energy with his deep voice, and Ellen Holly has this classic Hollywood elegance and sparkle. Horrible that they were so carelessly discarded. (Their scenes start at 3:12 and 5:52 in the first two videos.)

 

 


A clip with them and Phylicia Rashad:

 

 

Edited by Faulkner
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I have to join in on the Eric Steinberg love! I thought he was a fantastic actor and it was so different seeing a sexy Asian man with agency who felt equal. He also took Jess Walton out of a years long rut. Imagine had he remained the amount of years Colin did! With his exit I don’t hold that against LML. One of her big things has always been diversity and I’m guessing there was push back from him being a leading man. 
 

Another sad cast to add to the list is the Williams family in Knots Landing. Due to budget cuts they wrote off Julie Harris and Constance McCashin. Constance’s character Laura filled out their housewife group and with the Williams matriarch Pat she filled the void left by Laura. Their initial story in the witness protection program was EXCELLENT and full of thrilling scenes. Both Lynne Moody and the actor who played her husband (the late, great Larry Riley) had dynamite chemistry with the cast and fit in *perfectly*. They had toyed with Pat having an affair with lead hunk Gary Ewing, but the network didn’t allow it and slowly they fell into the background. Eventually Lynne Moody asked for leave and was killed off, then Larry Riley died which meant writing off his daughter played by Kent Masters King and then the entire family was gone. 
 

It was so sad because the show was trying to reinvent and add new characters and they literally added three excellent character who could’ve given them years of good story, but they weren’t allowed to write for them. There’s so many cases where this has happened and it drives me mad. 

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Al Freeman is one of what, three black actors who've won a Daytime Emmy for Outstanding Actor in A Leading Role?  CBS has never had a Black actor who has won an award in this category? The whole entire network!  Why are they not embarrassed about this?  Wasn't the first black actor to appear on a televised daytime soap on CBS??

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11 minutes ago, DramatistDreamer said:

Al Freeman is one of what, three black actors who've won a Daytime Emmy for Outstanding Actor in A Leading Role?  

Yes. In fact, only four Black actors have ever been nominated for Lead Actor: Al Freeman Jr. (RIP), Darnell Williams, James Reynolds, Kristoff St. John (RIP). It's quite telling that the category with the most Black winners is Younger Actor.

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19 minutes ago, kalbir said:

Yes. In fact, only four Black actors have ever been nominated for Lead Actor: Al Freeman Jr. (RIP), Darnell Williams, James Reynolds, Kristoff St. John (RIP). It's quite telling that the category with the most Black winners is Younger Actor.

Yep, let’s see:

 

Kristoff St. John (1992)

Monti Sharp (1993)

Kevin Mambo (1996-97)

Bryton James (2007)

Rome Flynn (2018)

Kyler Pettis (2019)

 

Only the Y&R actors stuck around their show (with KSJ winning again as Supporting in 2008 - not that it helped his story prospects). Monti Sharp’s subsequent daytime roles were lackluster.
 

Let’s not talk about the only black female winners being Debbi Morgan (in a tie for Supporting with Nancy Lee Grahn in 1989), Christel Khalil (Younger, 2012), and Vernee Watson (Supporting in 2019, for what—correct me if I’m wrong—isn’t even a contract role).

Edited by Faulkner
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It's interesting to note that daytime television has become more diverse as talk shows with a host or panel (Tamron Hall, Wendy Williams, The Real, The Talk, a more diverse The View), court shows, a game show (a black daytime game show host is a rarity) all having diverse faces, but at the same time soaps have become less diverse. I read articles from 2013 saying how diverse daytime has become, but ones shortly after saying soap operas have a diversity issue.

 

In the late 90s/early 2000s it seemed like most soap operas had a Latinx family, (i.e. the Santos family on GL, Lopez family on AMC, the Ramriez family on BB, Lopez-Fitzgeralds on PAS) as the Hispanic population continued to grow through the 90s and the growing popularity of telenovelas on Spanish-language networks. 

 

https://tvsourcemagazine.com/2018/02/does-cbs-daytime-women-color-problem-bold-restless-soaps/

 

I think this article presents a unique perspective on how soaps have failed minority characters (CBS focused). 

 

Here's a tidbit stating that BB may have been the worst when it comes to representation on daytime:

 

When it comes to diversity in soaps, I can’t really think of a show that has been at the bottom of that list more than The Bold and the Beautiful. If you wanted to see people of color, historically, this was the last show you would turn to. Which has always been strange to me given that this is the only soap NOT set in a fictional city, but in one of the largest most diverse cities in the country.

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1 hour ago, Chris B said:

Another sad cast to add to the list is the Williams family in Knots Landing. Due to budget cuts they wrote off Julie Harris and Constance McCashin. Constance’s character Laura filled out their housewife group and with the Williams matriarch Pat she filled the void left by Laura. Their initial story in the witness protection program was EXCELLENT and full of thrilling scenes. Both Lynne Moody and the actor who played her husband (the late, great Larry Riley) had dynamite chemistry with the cast and fit in *perfectly*. They had toyed with Pat having an affair with lead hunk Gary Ewing, but the network didn’t allow it and slowly they fell into the background. Eventually Lynne Moody asked for leave and was killed off, then Larry Riley died which meant writing off his daughter played by Kent Masters King and then the entire family was gone. 
 

It was so sad because the show was trying to reinvent and add new characters and they literally added three excellent character who could’ve given them years of good story, but they weren’t allowed to write for them. There’s so many cases where this has happened and it drives me mad. 

 

All these years later, I still recall a scene where Julie Williams holds Danny Waleska at gunpoint and Frank breaks into Val's house, where Danny was staying, in order to talk his daughter down -- only, it didn't look that way at first!

 

 

Man, but that was some brilliant acting.  From Kent Masters-King, from Sam Behrens and especially from Larry Riley.

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1 hour ago, GLATWT88 said:

When it comes to diversity in soaps, I can’t really think of a show that has been at the bottom of that list more than The Bold and the Beautiful. If you wanted to see people of color, historically, this was the last show you would turn to. Which has always been strange to me given that this is the only soap NOT set in a fictional city, but in one of the largest most diverse cities in the country.

Yeah, B&B was not a community soap, usually focusing on the Forresters and another family (the Logans, Spectras, Spencers), but I agree. An employee of Forrester Creations could easily have been gay.
 

Before Rome Flynn left, they toyed with a story of Zende Forrester presenting his sketches to Steffy and Thomas, only to be met with condescending rejection. It could have been an interesting story of Zende being the black outsider in the Forrester family, possibly with him absconding to Spectra. But they dropped the story.

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I have always believed there is more out there of the early Carla, etc. material from OLTL and its '60s/'70s in general than we know. The Museum of Television and Radio has some. Ellen Holly, by her own word, has more she saved, via kinescope I believe. She also claimed urban market affiliates in the '70s kept some of those key episodes featuring her storyline to push it in those markets. ABC may not give a shít but they may still have more somewhere. And in the age of YouTube, so much of what was thought forever lost (like the clips posted so far) keeps turning up. Hell, who knows about Agnes Nixon's estate. She never forgot that storyline, even in her final years; if Holly saved some of it, I wouldn't be surprised to hear Nixon did too.

 

Meanwhile, per those 80s episodes it always struck me how similar Holly comes off in those scenes with Lillian Hayman to Erika Slezak, and Viki. The heart is all right there.

Edited by Vee
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5 hours ago, Khan said:

 

All these years later, I still recall a scene where Julie Williams holds Danny Waleska at gunpoint and Frank breaks into Val's house, where Danny was staying, in order to talk his daughter down -- only, it didn't look that way at first!

 

 

Man, but that was some brilliant acting.  From Kent Masters-King, from Sam Behrens and especially from Larry Riley.


I generally am very hard on child actors because they are often terrible, but Kent was great and that scene was stunning! That’s what I mean. How could the network look at what they brought and just let it go? It’s really crazy. 

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This reminds me of when KMK subbed for VR as Drucilla in 2000. 
 

Also- what about the girl Cane had a fling with on Y&R in 2017? I think she was introduced as an interpreter from his business trip in Hong Kong. I can’t remember her name - Julie, maybe. Was she mixed? 
 

Of course she went crazy and was axed soon. But she had potential. 

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3 hours ago, Aback said:

This reminds me of when KMK subbed for VR as Drucilla in 2000. 
 

Also- what about the girl Cane had a fling with on Y&R in 2017? I think she was introduced as an interpreter from his business trip in Hong Kong. I can’t remember her name - Julie, maybe. Was she mixed? 
 

Of course she went crazy and was axed soon. But she had potential. 

Her character was Juliet and she was played by Laur Allen

https://www.imdb.com/name/nm5977008/

 

I think Juliet had potential, especially if they would've taken her into a vixen role on the show. The actress just needed some red bull and better direction because sometimes she came off kind of lethargic on screen. I always wanted Cane & Lily who decide to get back together to win custody of the baby Juliet had with Cane. Juliet being heartbroken decides to be vengeful so she secretly hooks up with Charlie to get revenge on the walking stick and Lily getting her son so she sees it as her taking their son. After three months Lily finds out and goes buck on Juliet for messing with her teenage son. 

 

Juliet also had that sexual harassment lawsuit against Cane at Brash and Sassy which she won I believe? Also she had a brewing friendship with Hilary too. 

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3 minutes ago, Forever8 said:

Her character was Juliet and she was played by Laur Allen

https://www.imdb.com/name/nm5977008/


Cool!

 

from IMDB:

She was the crown holder for Miss Los Angeles Chinatown and was the first mixed-ethnicity queen in the pageant's history. She then went on to represent Los Angeles in the Miss Chinese International pageant, where she made top 7 and won Miss Congeniality.
 

I am sorry these actors don’t get direction anymore. I liked her. Until I saw a picture of her in her living room and she had a rifle on the coffee table I think. LOL Thought it was weird. 

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6 hours ago, Aback said:


Cool!

 

from IMDB:

She was the crown holder for Miss Los Angeles Chinatown and was the first mixed-ethnicity queen in the pageant's history. She then went on to represent Los Angeles in the Miss Chinese International pageant, where she made top 7 and won Miss Congeniality.
 

I am sorry these actors don’t get direction anymore. I liked her. Until I saw a picture of her in her living room and she had a rifle on the coffee table I think. LOL Thought it was weird. 

I’m obsessed with Scarlett Johansson’s voice obviously, but I love a woman with a sexy, throaty rasp, and Juliet had that. In another era, she would have developed into a great villainess. 

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