Fans of All My Children, One Life to Live, and General Hospital band together last Friday to boycott these soaps due to the firing of fan favorite actors or them put on recurring status, their popular characters being killed off, and lack of “love in the afternoon”.
Denise Hutchins is one of several fans who is not happy in the portrayal of the characters and how they’ve been written, and would like to see the genre back on track through comment calls of all three soaps — explaining their reasons of tuning out to them. They hope that will send ABC Daytime President Brian Frons a message: listen to the fans, show respect to the soaps as well as to the actors, and remain true to the characters.
“They’re erasing history and writing their top leading actors/actresses out of character and it’s clearly not working” Hutchins states.
Out of the trio, General Hospital has been taking the most hits. Under the direction of the late Gloria Monty, it helped put daytime on the map in the 1980s with action, mystery, and sweeping romance. Due to the overwhelming popularity Luke & Laura and several pairings such as Alan & Monica, the term “supercouple” was coined. Back then, the good guys were Luke & Laura, superspy duo Robert Scorpio and Anna Devane, ex-mobster and nightclub owner Duke Lavery, and Frisco and Feilicia Jones. Today, the Emmy-winning soap has been criticized for being a daytime version of The Godfather and The Sopranos, where mobsters are the “heroes” while the police are the “villains” yet powerless to do something, as crime and corruption runs rampart in Port Charles, where there’s Mafia justice with only one law: killed or be killed.
Aphrodite, a Liason fan, recently emailed a letter to GH, Soap Opera Digest, and Soap Opera Weekly that said:
Dear General Hospital Executives and Staff,
It seems that simply stating my displeasure or what I need changed is not getting through to you, so I’ll just quote your own words back to you to explain my feelings. You once said: “Without trust, love doesn’t last.” Well GH … I don’t trust you. You are slowly but surely killing my love for you. I used to be so happy to see you every day. My eyes would light up with joy and expectation.
For an hour we would sit together and smile, laugh, and cry. And when our hour together was over, I couldn’t wait for the next. But now I can’t stand to look at you; it’s just too painful. You’ve turned into a stranger. You say things that don’t make sense, and hurt me to the bone without compunction. You act like I don’t matter to you, even though I’ve been faithful to you for years. You break my heart again and again, yet I kept coming back for more. But I finally came to a point where I simply couldn’t take the abuse any longer. I had to stop seeing you for my own peace of mind and happiness.
I’ve tried to support you and help you to become the wonderful GH I remember and shared so many lovely memories with, but you ignore my attempts and continue to behave self-destructively. Because I care so deeply for you, I can’t bring myself to condone this behavior anymore. That’s why we, your friends, have all come here to participate in this intervention. We want you to get better and get back to your old self … no, a better self. We only want what’s best for you and that’s why we are so harsh at times and lash out in frustration. We’ve felt tortured for so long by your insensitivity to our concerns and unwillingness to correct your bad habits that there didn’t seem to be another way.
Please listen to the cries of those who love you and effect a change in yourself before it’s too late. We’d hate to see you dwindle away into nothing before our eyes. Consider that all we do and say is out of love and fear for you; otherwise we wouldn’t try so hard to make you hear us.
Like Bonnie Tyler said in “Holding out for a Hero”, where have all the good men gone? Soap operas are in need of white knights that can right the wrongs of the world: human, humble, and honest with a strong moral compass. The writers need to bring more diversity and bring topical issues to the storylines, which should also center on life, family, and friendship while at the same time provide conflict, excitement, fun, and romance for the audience.
“[Daytime] has changed for the absolute worse” said Latoya Guider. “It’s only focused on violence and misery. There is enough of that in the ‘real world’. That is why people watch soaps, to escape reality for an hour out of their day. If they want to see stories about violence, pain, suffering, child endangerment, the mob (or gangs) and injustice, they would just watch the news.”