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Racism and racial representation on soaps


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For years, I had been gradually divesting myself from soaps but with Y&R, I really got disgusted when they killed off Hilary and dismissing Ana sealed it for me. Other than classic episodes, I would never bother with this show again unless they made some fundamental changes.  It seems as though Y&R would rather run themselves into cancellation rather than have a POC character have the same dramatic agency as a white character. Well, they can do it without me watching.

 

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3 minutes ago, DramatistDreamer said:

For years, I had been gradually divesting myself from soaps but with Y&R, I really got disgusted when they killed off Hilary and dismissing Ana sealed it for me. Other than classic episodes, I would never bother with this show again unless they made some fundamental changes.  It seems as though Y&R would rather run themselves into cancellation rather than have a POC character have the same dramatic agency as a white character. Well, they can do it without me watching.

 

 

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20 hours ago, DramatistDreamer said:

 

In many ways, the term "Caucasian" seems to be a very archaic term, especially when considering that theoretically race is a social construct but you'd be surprised how many people in the U.S., particularly those who categorize themselves as white, refer to themselves as white and Caucasian, almost interchangeably.

 

My point (challenge, if you will) to the poster that I originally replied to is that I have never personally known anyone who identifies as Latino/Latinx claim that their culture or identity was with Spain. I grew up with Puerto Ricans, Dominicans, Colombians, Mexicans/Chicanos, Panamanians and I never heard that before.  In fact, the majority of those I have known looked at Spain as having colonized their respective countries/islands.  Even the issue of language is fraught.  If you've ever been to Spain, you will find that those who willingly speak Castilian (and honestly, that is not everybody, there are some ethnic groups that are fairly resistent to Spanish/Castilian culture and language) speak quite differently from someone in say...Cuba or Mexico, who each have their own idioms.  Try going to Cuba or Mexico or Panama and addressing an elder person by saying ¡Oiga! like you'd do in Spain and see what reaction you'd get. I myself would never do this outside of Spain but I'd bet that the reaction wouldn't be very good.

 

I absolutely agree, Re: Spain and Latinos. It's the same for Portugal and Brazil. I was just taking the opportunity of your post to point out that 'Caucasian' (a term which everyone uses, even scholars) makes no sense to me.

 

14 minutes ago, DramatistDreamer said:

For years, I had been gradually divesting myself from soaps but with Y&R, I really got disgusted when they killed off Hilary and dismissing Ana sealed it for me. Other than classic episodes, I would never bother with this show again unless they made some fundamental changes.  It seems as though Y&R would rather run themselves into cancellation rather than have a POC character have the same dramatic agency as a white character. Well, they can do it without me watching.

 

I completely agree with this. I feel the same.

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1 hour ago, Aback said:

I absolutely agree, Re: Spain and Latinos. It's the same for Portugal and Brazil. I was just taking the opportunity of your post to point out that 'Caucasian' (a term which everyone uses, even scholars) makes no sense to me.

 

Oh understood.  I think your post spurred me to address the original remark, as I felt as if I hadn't really done so properly.

@ChitHappensAnd you know it's really such a shame when you think of how soaps used to write groundbreaking stories.  They didn't always accomplish what they set out to do but at least they used to try. It's like they stopped trying about fifteen, sixteen years ago.   I still can't understand why soaps have more more groundbreaking storylines done in the 80s and 90s than they do now. These shows haven't evolved at all.

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On 7/25/2020 at 8:25 PM, Faulkner said:

It’s crazy the things soaps have gotten away with. And neither Lindsay (Korman) Hartley nor Galen Gering are Latino, yet they’ve played Latino characters on both Passions and DAYS. (Lindsay also played Latina on AMC.)

 

At least Jordi Vilasuso and Camila Banus are Cuban-American.

Simone on AMC comes to mind as well. Simone's dad was Black. I remember the actress being asked about it on Soap Talk and she made an albino joke.

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Paul Telegdy’s reputation has always been awful. Loved the whitewashing that happened when he started at NBC.

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Posted (edited)

I saw this little segment in a video @Jonathan kindly posted in the AMC thread and was pleased. Thought I'd put it here. (The interviewee whose identity I won't spoil is wrong, obviously, about EH being the first African-American on soap operas, but I think he just misspoke re: what he meant.)

 

 

Edited by Vee
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Dynasty, Capitol, Santa Barbara tried to pass white actors with dark hair and tans as Middle Eastern. That would not work today.

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Posted (edited)

Wasn't sure where to put this article but it might fit in this thread, in an odd way.

 

While reading this article on when Black people appear on Seinfeld, I couldn't help but irony of Sonya Eddy's character Epiphany and her relationship to the GH canvas (an oft-discussed topic on this board), juxtaposed with Eddy being mentioned here as portraying one of the few Black characters on Seinfeld who actually gets to drive the comic direction in scenes with the core characters.

 

https://www.vulture.com/2020/08/seinfeld-rewatch-close-read.html?utm_source=pocket-newtab

The other character mentioned as having comedic agency, Jackie Chiles was portrayed by Phil Morris, who portrayed Tyrone Jackson, whose controversial role in a oft-discussed mob storyline on Y&R.

Surely, I can't be the only one seeing the irony here!

Edited by DramatistDreamer
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Posted (edited)

 

 

Alan Locher's "Locher Room" youtube show, August 7, 2020.

This is a reunion of writers who wrote for As the World Turns. The first hour is entirely about ATWT. I didn't watch that part because I never saw that soap.
After that first hour, the host Alan asks the writers what they are doing now.

Susan Dansby starts talking about Y&R. Susan Dansby announced that as of the day before (August 6), it was firmed up that she is returning to Y&R.  She said she will be  a "story_____" Part of what she said was not able to be heard.  Not clear if this is temp or ongoing, because someone talked over her.

 

This was already posted on the Directors and Writers thread.
 

Posting here on this racial representation thread because Susan Dansby said that when she originally joined Y&R (in 2011), she was the first black writer on Y&R.

The quote is first in 47 years but what was intended was this:
When she originally joined Y&R in 2011, she was the first black person on the writing team in the history of the show. And as of 2020, Y&R has been on the air for 47 years.

She said she was shocked when she first joined (in 2011) to learn she was the first, because ATWT had had 4 black writers.

In her current return to Y&R, she joins black writer Lynn Martin who has been at Y&R since 2018.
 

She goes on to talk about racism and hiring practices.

 

Susan starts talking at about 1:05:00 into the video.

Edited by janea4old
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1 hour ago, janea4old said:

 

 

Alan Locher's "Locher Room" youtube show, August 7, 2020.

This is a reunion of writers who wrote for As the World Turns. The first hour is entirely about ATWT. I didn't watch that part because I never saw that soap.
After that first hour, the host Alan asks the writers what they are doing now.

Susan Dansby starts talking about Y&R. Susan Dansby announced that as of the day before (August 6), it was firmed up that she is returning to Y&R.  She said she will be  a "story_____" Part of what she said was not able to be heard.  Not clear if this is temp or ongoing, because someone talked over her.

 

This was already posted on the Directors and Writers thread.
 

Posting here on this racial representation thread because Susan Dansby said that when she originally joined Y&R (in 2011), she was the first black writer on Y&R.

The quote is first in 47 years but what was intended was this:
When she originally joined Y&R in 2011, she was the first black person on the writing team in the history of the show. And as of 2020, Y&R has been on the air for 47 years.

She said she was shocked when she first joined (in 2011) to learn she was the first, because ATWT had had 4 black writers.

In her current return to Y&R, she joins black writer Lynn Martin who has been at Y&R since 2018.
 

She goes on to talk about racism and hiring practices.

 

Susan starts talking at about 1:05:00 into the video.

Story Consultant? 

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There is an overwhelming abundance of ignorance at every level in the soap industry, which explains so much about why the industry is basically at bottom-feeder status these days.

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