Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Tom Casiello: Damn the man. Save the empire.

Tom Casiello has written a brilliant new blog entry which touches on the Nuke controversy and well-told social stories on soaps, which have been severely lacking in recent years:

"NUKE" FANS and ALL soap fans - I don’t care what sexuality you are - this number is IMPORTANT!

Okay, so I've kinda stayed out of the Nuke controversy. Mainly because I know how difficult it is to get ANY kind of social issue story to the screen in this day and age (which is the greatest shame of soaps today, but more on that later), and also because I have no idea what's happening in the ATWT writers' room, but clearly there is some kind of internal struggle going on in regards to what they can show, or what they can't show - and since I have so many close friends and so many people I respect at the ATWT studio, I don't want to comment on rumors or speculation.

Today, I heard from a friend at the studio in regard to Procter and Gamble's 800-number to poll America on whether or not they should further the Noah/Luke love story. (1-800-331-3774) My friend at ATWT says it's been difficult for TPTB at ATWT to do this story justice, but they are committed to it. She encouraged all of us to call the 1-800 number and support continuing the Luke/Noah love story.

Okay, so before you get on me about religion, or your stance on homosexuality, or any of that - consider this for a moment: Did you enjoy the Stone/AIDS story on GH? Or Marty overcoming the horrors of what happened to her at Spring Fling on One Life to Live? How about Beth confronting her father on GL, or Erica Kane facing the toughest choice of a woman's life in the 70's (before history was rewritten two years ago with Josh of course, but that's irrelevant to my point)?

As long as I've been alive, soaps have always been telling stories that teach, that show all perspectives, that are on the cutting edge of what's going on in YOUR world today. Lately, there seems to be this desire to move further and further into escapism - stories that take place in worlds where silliness reigns, and as such, soaps are starting to be taken much less seriously than they were twenty years ago.

Supporting "Nuke", to me at least, is about a lot more than just supporting gays on TV. It's about supporting television that makes you think, that forces you to question your own beliefs, see a different side of the story you might not always agree with - it supports the idea that yes, we watch TV to escape reality sometimes... but we ALSO watch TV to sometimes see realities we might not have any other access to otherwise. We want intelligence in our stories - we want a reflection of what we see in our day-to-day lives. We want to see the human struggle.

Please call. And let them know that yes - even if you do disagree with the story, you still support it because sometimes it's okay to be a little uncomfortable. People were uncomfortable when slavery came to an end, they were uncomfortable when women started working full-time, and they were uncomfortable when Maude got an abortion or when Archie Bunker used the N-Word. And you know what? It's OKAY that you're a little uncomfortable with two guys kissing on TV. I applaud TV that makes me squirm a little, because it opens up new worlds to me, and helps me become a more tolerant, more understanding person. This is a society where we are constantly learning and growing - and a genre that once upon a time, prided itself on being a serious learning tool. Don't let it become a joke.

Damn the man. Save the empire.


  1. Yes, P&G needs phone confirmation of what everyone else in the world already knows. The media blitz wasn't enough to make it clear.

  2. I have already called, and will call again. I've sent emails, comments.

    I am committed to do whatever it takes for this story to flourish. NOT because of sexuality...but because I want daytime to remain relevant. And because this is a beautiful, touching story (or it could be). And that, in the end, is what matters.