Wednesday, December 1, 2010

WLS World AIDS Day With Soap Writer Claire Labine

In 2009, legendary soap writer Claire Labine spoke with Damon L. Jacobs about her illustrious career in a fascinating seven-part interview. One of the topics was the memorable Robin and Stone AIDS storyline on GENERAL HOSPITAL. Here is what she had to say.

The degree of ignorance of AIDS in that era was stunning! People really thought you could catch it by shaking hands. I did feel impassioned about that story. I got the fastest approval for that story ever. We were at a retreat with Pat [Fili-Krushel, head of ABC daytime from 1993-2000]. We were at breakfast and Wendy said, “What we really need is a Romeo and Juliet story.” And it just came to me: “Stone is HIV positive and he and Robin become lovers and she’s infected.” Pat looked at me and said, “Can you really make a story out of that?” And I said, “You bet we can.” And she said, “Approved!” And she let us do it!

At the very end, just before Robin’s diagnosis, Pat called and asked, “Does she really really have to be HIV positive?” And I said, “Well, if she isn’t the whole story is pointless.” She said, “Alright, but this is breaking my heart.” I said, “Good! That what it’s intended to do!” So if it depressed people, I’m sorry. Was it what we intended to do? You bet!

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