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Daytime Opinion Article


Soap Budgets and the Stars

Written 10/5/03 by Suzanne originally for Bella Online

It's hard to tell what network I'm watching my soaps on any more. Todd Manning, Marcus Taggert, and Dixie Cooney Martin are on As the World Turns. A.J. Quartermaine, Rafe from PC, Julia Santos, and Frisco Jones are all on Bold & The Beautiful. Julia's husband Noah is on Young and the Restless. It's hard for me to watch my favorites; there are too many soaps on!

Thank goodness the second Lucky is going to All My Children and Caleb is going to One Life to Live!

I keep reading about budget cuts at ABC and NBC. What is CBS's secret? Are they the only network with money for daytime?

ABC cut its budget by canceling Port Charles and making cast cuts. NBC cut its budget by forcing Days of Our Lives to cut its cast and crew. I guess CBS is making so much money off the two top shows Y&R and B&B that they don't have to worry about it. They can even steal all of these out-of-work ABC actors for their shows. I hope they hire Abe and Maggie from Days; it's such a shame that Days wrote them out. I'm surprised the media has not made a bigger issue about this. Abe was the longest-running African American character in the history of television. How terrible to fire him. Plus the actor, James Reynolds, does a lot of charity work in his spare time, way more than your average actor. That's just wrong. I'm surprised that no one has pointed out that all of the shows seem to be cutting out black actors from their casts. Why are they the first to go when there are budget cuts?

Think I'm wrong? How about the fact that both Marshall and Bonnie are fired from As the World Turns (A show that had a compelling African American story until recently)? Guiding Light has a whole black family but we hardly see any of them except an occasional glimpse of Mel or her father. We know about Reynolds on Days. Hank was cut to recurring on OLTL (we haven't seen him since) and Keri was killed off, but fortunately they just hired the excellent actor Kevin Mambo. Taggert was reduced to recurring on GH, so who can blame him for going to ATWT? Gia is the only remaining black character on GH. I think there's only one black actor on AMC and none on B&B. So far Passions and Y&R seem to be the only show that is not cutting its black characters. Good for them!

What about other minorities? The latino characters have been written out of AMC except for Maria. They had a badly-written Asian family but mercifully wrote them out. OLTL still has the Vegas, but Cristian is being written out soon. GH has two major latino characters, Sonny and Alcazar. I could point out that Alcazar is played by a non-Latino, but that would be petty. I could point out that both characters are bad guys, but then that's unfair because there aren't many good guys left on GH nowadays. After much ballyhoo, B&B quietly wrote out its Latino character (who they gave AIDS!) and his family. There are a couple of lesbians on AMC and one on Passions. It's pathetic that most of our soaps are populated mostly by lily-white, straight actors. Daytime a poorer track record then primetime and I don't understand why none of the writers or producers seem to see that.

Get with it, you guys!

Page updated 12/27/11

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