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REG (ex-Evangaline) on Fresh Air (NPR)

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  • REG (ex-Evangaline) on Fresh Air (NPR)

    Renée Elise Goldsberry was interviewed on NPR’s Fresh Air on Monday. She commented about her career, discussing the renewal of her new show Girls5Eva and her time on Hamilton. The interview is available on their site if you want to listen to the entire interview.

    During the interview she discussed her time on One Life to Live. I am re-writing in my own words.

    She said if one came onto a soap opera and were an interesting actor and/or had some sort of spark, no matter who you were playing, they would somehow connect you to the main family on the show.

    However if one was an actor of color, that usually didn’t happen no matter how good you were.

    Usually they would make the character a lawyer, a doctor or just a two-dimensional good character. That way they felt they were being very responsible with their ethnic actors and they would make you good. But that’s boring so she felt challenged to take the role and find any vulnerability or something else to make the character interesting.

    She describes when they finally gave her a family and a love interest, it was a reward for finding something ... more dimensional.
    -----------
    Now for my comments - she can only speak to her time on OLTL and I can respect that. There are instances of other shows linking non-white characters to main families such as Y&R making Devon part of the Chancellor family or GH adding the Wards as part of the Quartermaine family.

    I do agree with her that they didn't give her much to do and even when they did give her family, they could have done more.

  • #2
    i can see what she is saying. The era she was on was one of my least favorite in their history. She was a bright spot during that time. She really was great on the show, I was thinking about checking out her new just really just because I like her
    JC
    SOC Moderator
    soapcentral.com
    Questions? Email me: JCmojoe81

    Comment


    • JaySherman
      JaySherman commented
      Editing a comment
      Dena Higley's run on OLTL was also one of my least favorite. I agree REG was great but also understand why she left.

      Nathan Fillion was an excellent Joey at the time but had friends like Bob Woods who saw talent and encouraged him to move on.

      While it was a loss to OLTL, moving on was the best thing for her career
      Last edited by JaySherman; June 25, 2021, 08:58 AM.

  • #3
    Originally posted by JaySherman View Post
    Now for my comments - she can only speak to her time on OLTL and I can respect that. There are instances of other shows linking non-white characters to main families such as Y&R making Devon part of the Chancellor family or GH adding the Wards as part of the Quartermaine family.

    I do agree with her that they didn't give her much to do and even when they did give her family, they could have done more.
    Ok but Bryton James (Devon) was on the show for over a decade and had been doing nothing for YEARS before that linked him to the Chancellors and made him the prominent member of the cast he is today. I will agree that Y&R are doing a good job with their characters of color now but for the longest time the most prominent POC character was Neil and even though he got a decent amount of screen time he was more often than little more that a supporting member of other people's storylines.

    GH is another one of the soaps that's been doing a great job recently but has a shady past. As far as the Wards are concerned, how many of them were more than short term or recurring characters and how many of them are still around today?

    Comment


    • JaySherman
      JaySherman commented
      Editing a comment
      The Wards in the end you could say had the misfortune of being part of the Quartermaines.

      Mary May died only because her portrayer died but Justus died because the writers liked killing off the Qs

      I dont recall exactly how Keesha left but TPTB showed no real interest in fleshing out Maya so she left. Same with Valerie - she's a Spencer but we don't see her.

      In regards to Devon on Y&R, he wasn't a member of but was associated with the Winters wasn't he?

    • soapfan21
      soapfan21 commented
      Editing a comment
      Yes Devon was adopted by Neil and Dru I think, but he was not a prominent member of the cast until the last couple of years.

  • #4
    No lies told here. Outside of the examples named in the initial post, I can't think of any other POC who was given that lifeline many white characters are afforded to be linked to a major family. Ultimately, no character (unless specifically brought on to be) should have to be linked to a major family to be viable. It's lazy and uninspired when they do so. But that's a whole other discussion.

    But back to her overall point about POC in soaps, it really boils down to lack of representation behind the scenes as well. While there may have been POC on the writing staff, I can't recall ever hearing of or seeing think a single black headwriter or EP off the top of my head on any major daytime soap. I guess Michelle Val Jean’s brief time at GH technically would count. But again, no long-term writers or EPs of color to make effective, lasting changes to the canvas. But then that speaks to who makes the decisions at the network and these things don't change until changes in those spaces occur

    She's also right about the types of characters they tend to write. Let's quit with the doctors, lawyers, and cops. Let's get some businessmen and women. How about introducing a black male teacher? A demographic that is in desperate need IRL and would benefit from some representation on TV. It's okay to write POC as not being virtuous. As long as you are balancing it out with characters that are on the other end of the spectrum or in the middle

    What it boils down to is we need to stop settling for soaps having moments, when a show decides it wants to write for characters of color. They need to make it a priority to make sure their show consistently does this over the long haul.

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    • #5
      I've said it before and I'll say it again, I think black actors should avoid the daytime soaps like the plague. They rarely get front burning storylines. Most of the time, they're just glorified extras. Definitely won't get a shot at the Daytime Emmys. The percentages are very small, but several were lucky to win an acting Emmy. Black men have been luckier than the women. Not sure how long the Daytime Emmys have been around, but you can count on one hand how many black actors won in the lead acting category: ONE. I'm blanking on his name, but the show honored him last year. I believe this gentleman was on OLTL. How many black women won? Two, in the supporting category. Debbi Morgan, who had to share. Verne Watson, who most might know her as Will Smith's mother on the "Fresh Prince of Bel Air" won for GH a couple of years ago. Plenty of men have won in the supporting category: the late Kristoff St. John, Shemar Moore, Bryton James, Rome Flynn to name a few.

      Renee Goldberry, Tika Simpter and Michael B. Jordan were on daytime, whose acting career got way better after leaving daytime.

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