Thursday, November 20, 2008

FLASHBACK: Opening the Daytime Closet 1993

In the August 3, 1993 issue of Soap Opera Weekly, Joanne Douglas Lampe investigated homophobia in the soap opera Industry.

"The Daytime Closet" encouraged readers to write in with opinions about 1) whether or not you could still enjoy the "fantasy" of a love scene or heterosexual relationship if you knew the actor or actress was homosexual; 2) would you be interested in a storyline involving a gay or lesbian relationship? The article came on the heels of "Day of Compassion," where daytime TV focused on the need for a compassionate response to people with HIV and AIDS.

On another note, Michael Laibson, executive producer of ANOTHER WORLD speculated, "I tend to think there aren't enough of them (homosexuals) watching soaps to make it
worthwhile for the shows to do gay stories."

Kay Alden, co-head writer for THE YOUNG AND THE RESTLESS, feared a loss of ratings with a homosexual storyline. She said that in the late seventies Y&R was the first soap to hint at a lesbian relationship, and viewers "turned off the soap in droves. If gay issues are dealt with in daytime, the storylines will probably be geared toward trying to teach the audience acceptance and understanding..."

The Sept. 28 issue included coverage of the vicious attack on soap hunk Keith Pruitt ("Former Daytime Actor Victim of Bias Crime"). The article included quotes from activists who criticized judicial homophobia, police indifference and the largely untold story of anti-gay/lesbian hate violence.

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