Jump to content

Racism and racial representation on soaps


Recommended Posts

On 4/13/2021 at 8:04 PM, Vee said:

tbh I think the claims that Peter Bergman was against Cliff/Angie are apocryphal. I went looking for evidence of it a few months ago, and instead found a quote on this very site of him talking the story up, in print, in 1999, calling its rejection "pretty devastating." That said he also blamed it on the audience 'only being able to see Cliff with Nina and Angie with Jesse,' which I think is a generous at best reading of something I feel was equally fueled by racism.

 

I can believe Bergman was secretly against the Cliff/Angie story for popularity reasons, but without evidence I think it's a little convenient. If Debbi said something different on the Agnes Nixon tribute stream I've yet to watch of course I'd believe it. I do think his behavior re: the Keemo story and Victoria Rowell is a mix of simple white privilege/tone deafness and arrogance and distaste with a poor story which isn't that bad compared to shít like Marco. I think it has a racial element in terms of that ignorance. Do I think he's a raging bigot, no, but there's a lot of degrees of ignorant behavior and micro-aggression.

 

Love this post. I agree.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Replies 708
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

Posted (edited)

IDK why soaps haven't tried to elevate more non-white characters, especially given how much people of color support their shows. 

 

The trend of mostly wealthy white characters in a rich CORE family that owns a some form of conglomerate, in a town somewhere where melodramatic things happen is so repetitive. In that same theme, I'm surprised more shows haven't had a singular focus like fashion on B&B or politics on Capitol.

Edited by ironlion
Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)
5 hours ago, ironlion said:

The trend of mostly wealthy white characters in a rich CORE family that owns a some form of conglomerate, in a town somewhere where melodramatic things happen is so repetitive. In that same theme, I'm surprised more shows haven't had a singular focus like fashion on B&B or politics on Capitol.


In a way that is one of the small myriad largely subconscious way racist tropes sustain themselves.
It wouldn't occur to even well-meaning white writers to write a wealthy black family. Because blackness is not associated with business success or old wealth in the racist subconscious of our culture, which means they aren't portrayed as such which in turn means the trope is passed on different generations.

Talking of "Generations" that was one of the ways you could tell the show had some black staff because a large section of the cast got to be glamorous just like any white family on a white soap. Meanwhile, the "white-dominated" show with arguably the strongest longest-lasting AA "island" (Y&R) came out of the family of a house servant.

I have a LOT of issues with Tyler Perry who I find reprehensible in many ways but the success of his shows - garbage as they are - shows the appetite is huge and out there and 100% think there is at least as much potential in "minority" viewers than there is in clinging to the dwindling viewership of conservative housefraus. And only one of these two demographics is growing. It boggles the mind not one soap is willing to make a bet and take the risk to target the former even if it means alienating some of the latter.

Edited by FrenchBug82
Link to post
Share on other sites

I posted this in the ATWT thread but I think it deserves a place here also.

 

P Jay Sidney was the second actor to portray Dr Bellows on ATWT, The first was Brock Peters.

He is quoted her from a TV Guide article titled ' What the Negro Wants From TV' 20th Jan 1968.

Sidney left I believe, when he was not offered a contract.

Irna Phillips was writing at this time. I previously read that she refused to write blacks into the series as servants/janitors etc.

This is Sidney's take on his stint.

 

Sidney sites his own experiences last spring when he was hired as a regular in an important supporting role on the popular daytime soap ATWT

“I was supposed to be a research physician in that series,” he says, “and yet, emotionally and dramatically, I didn't exist as a person. My whole function in those 14 segments was getting a white boy out of jail. I was a non-person in the plot with no life of my own. I didn't have any problems. There were no things about which I was personally glad or sad, nothing to which I personally aspired. I had no past, no future , no family. I only existed for that white boy. I was, in other words an auxiliary, not a person.”

His tone suddenly becomes vehement. “Hell”, he explodes, “life isn't just going to a laboratory everyday.”

Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

  • Community Activity

    1. 11,469

      As The World Turns Discussion Thread

    2. 38

      Y&R May 2021 Discussion Thread

    3. 10,271

      Y&R: Old Articles

    4. 3,226

      Coronavirus/Covid-19 Discussion Thread

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy