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Faulkner

Racism and racial representation on soaps

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2 minutes ago, Faulkner said:

Oh that wasn’t meant to be glib. Certainly it’s a disgrace.

 

No, I certainly didn't take it to mean that you were being glib.  I was just really putting a fine point on that statement. Probably because just last week I was wondering how many Black writers there have been in the history of daytime soaps. I knew the number had to be shamefully low.

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1 minute ago, DramatistDreamer said:

 

No, I certainly didn't take it to mean that you were being glib.  I was just really putting a fine point on that statement. Probably because just last week I was wondering how many Black writers there have been in the history of daytime soaps. I knew the number had to be shamefully low.

It probably is a number we can count on two hands. Shameful indeed.

 

Other than Michele Val Jean, did SSM hire other black writers at Generations?

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10 minutes ago, Faulkner said:

Other than Michele Val Jean, did SSM hire other black writers at Generations?

Nope, don’t believe so. Looking at the end credits of the final episode of that snoozefest soap, and only white writers are listed.

 

Not entirely her fault though - even Nixon and Bell didn’t do much to bring black talent in behind the scenes.

Edited by BetterForgotten

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3 minutes ago, BetterForgotten said:

Nope, don’t believe so. Looking at the end credits of the final episode of that snoozefest soap, and only white writers are listed.

 

Not entirely her fault though - even Nixon and Bell didn’t do much to bring black talent in behind the scenes.

Not even on a soap about (mostly) black folks were black writers being hired. Says it all right there...

 

I would love to hear MVJ’s stories. Patrick Mulcahey’s stories are great and all, but MVJ has the real tea. But in her own time, of course. PM has privileges that MVJ does not have.

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9 hours ago, Vizion said:

 

 

 

Fascinating to see the actual numbers! Daytime just loves to devour itself.

 

9 hours ago, Vizion said:

 

This should surprise nobody but Ronn Moss is a hardcore Trumper

 

 

Well, it certainly surprised me. Ugh. Disgusting.

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Mike, thank you. Please submit your story to an outlet, any outlet. Soap twitter, if nothing else, needs to see it.

 

Your story and some (but not all, as I'm not Black) of the prejudices and lazy nepotism it discusses are intrinsic to why I never seriously considered writing for daytime. Film was my first love and is the field I still work in; I adore the soap opera, but I consider it a dying art form stewarded by burnouts, disinterested people and bigots. Creativity goes there to die. It does not have to be this way; I said it in 2013 and I will again, soaps can have a future in the streaming age. But they have to have a revolution first.

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Thanks for sharing your story with us @mikelyons, that was a fascinating read.  Sorry you had to go through all of that.

 

 

I think these are currently the only non-white people writing for daytime:

- Lynn Martin (Y&R)

- Charlotte Gibson (GH)

- Michele Val Jean (B&B)

- Ryan Quan (DAYS)

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Mike, thank you for sharing your story, and I'm sorry you went through those painful experiences. Shameful.

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I never wrote for Promises, but I tried like hell to get a script read for consideration. I would have written sample scenes or a few sample scripts just to get in the door.

We interns were unpaid labor, but most of us were lucky. Our parents paid for our rent, living expenses, cars, etc. while we interned on the soaps. It was truly a position a certain level of privilege could provide.

I'm glad I was able to offer some insight to the behind the scenes of American soaps. As I mentioned before, I have hesitated for a long time about telling this story in a public forum for a variety of reasons. However (with prodding from my boyfriend), I finally felt like it was the right moment to put it out there in some form. 

I once had a script turned down by a talent agency because there wasn't enough cursing in it. That's when I threw in the towel. It's not worth it. I'd rather thrive in my world than exist in yours.

Again, I'll answer any questions or provide further commentary. 

Be well & stay safe!

Edited by mikelyons

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10 minutes ago, Toups said:

 

I think these are currently the only non-white people writing for daytime:

- Lynn Martin (Y&R)

- Charlotte Gibson (GH)

- Michele Val Jean (B&B)

- Ryan Quan (DAYS)

 

There can be only one. Pathetic.

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1 hour ago, Soapsuds said:

@mikelyons A fascinating read to all your hardship trying to break into soaps.

 

I'll guess that your member friend here is Graybunny as he interned at Y&R. And the soap you are referring to that treated you badly is B&B. I am confused though..you were at two soaps or one?

Btw wasn't Lynn Martin another black writer in soaps?

I was at two soaps over two summers.

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Being a writer is too much of a position of authority for a person of color, because white actors aren't going to want to feel as if they are being told what to do by someone who is non-white. And of course producers want to keep the establishment as old guard as possible because that is how things work in all industries.

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30 minutes ago, Toups said:

Thanks for sharing your story with us @mikelyons, that was a fascinating read.  Sorry you had to go through all of that.

 

 

I think these are currently the only non-white people writing for daytime:

- Lynn Martin (Y&R)

- Charlotte Gibson (GH)

- Michele Val Jean (B&B)

- Ryan Quan (DAYS)

 

Mmmm meeting that quota of one.

 

Thanks for sharing your story @mikelyons. As a black man it really hurts to see how little a genre that I love respects us.

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Sorry about your experience @mikelyons but I can't say I'm surprised. I always imagined working for a soap would be like going to a new school in the middle of the school year. Since these shows film pretty much all year, go on indefinitely with cast, crew and teams that are in place for very long time ago - you're going in with a bunch of cliques, mean girls (divas), and other nonsense that may be less likely to thrive ( although it still does) in other settings. Then this just leads to other issues like nepotism and favoritism and allows very little room for change. Hence, why racism continues to thrive in daytime which is clearly seen just from a lack of representation. 

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