Black Men Need Not Apply: No Love for Neil, Devon, and Chad, on Daytime Soaps

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The question I keep on thinking about is, why are black men on the American soaps treated differently than white males? This topic is an issue  that has been bothering me for a while.  Now I know daytime soaps are considered frivolous entertainment.  Yes, soaps are a form of fantasy, a way to esacpe from our boring mundane lives.  Yes, I do  watch the Young and the Restless every chance I get on Global TV. I also watch Passions  as well.

The picture on the left is of Kristoff St. John he plays Neil Winters on Y&R.  The  second picture is of Bryton McClure, his character is  Devon Hamilton on Y&R.  The third picture, is of Charles Divins he plays Chad Harris on the NBC soap Passions.

The topic I want to discuss today, is an issue that has been pissing me off for a while. Why don’t t  Devon  Neil, &  Chad Harris  have love lives?  Yes I know Dru died and Neil is a widow but even before Dru Winters died I still have problems with the way the writers on Y&R write about the lives of black people.

Bryton McClure’s character,  Devon Hamilton was adopted by Neil and Dru Winters and now Dru is dead and Neil is alone.    On the show Bryton’s character Devon has been single FOREVER.  The writers will once in a while show  Devon talking to a girl he likes to hint that Devon has a pulse and that he’s heterosexual. However, its clear to me that the fear of exploring Devon’s heterosexuality is like hiting a brick wall due to the fear of the young black man.

White women have been craving and chasing black men for centuries, so I don’t see the big deal if Devon had a white girlfriend on the show. Y&R won’t even allow Devon to have a black girlfriend! Is it so disgusting and sickening to the executives at Y&R for a black man to kiss a woman on television? Maybe its the white female fans that want Devon to be asexual? I don’t know? The fact is soaps cater to the interests of the white female demographic and not to black women and other women of colour?

In fact, I think it would make perfect sense if Devon had a girlfriend regardless of her race. Soaps are about heterosexual romantic relationships about falling in and out of love. So why doesn’t Devon have a girlfriend?  Its obvious that Devon’s race is what is holding him back from having some romance. Why is there silence in the mainstream media about this obvious offensive racism?

I believe the powerful white studio executives want to maintain the status quo of white male domination. White men simply  do not want to see black men romancing “their women” or even “black women” on TV.  The issue is much larger then TV soaps it  strikes the heart and soul of a legacy of the dehumanization of  black men by white males that has gone on for centuries.

The Y&R writers have been so desperate for storylines they made Devon go deaf for a while, and then they wrote about Devon’s drug addict mother coming back into his life and all that. It appears to me the writers on Y&R have run out of ideas with Devon.  They have been avoiding Devon having a love life FOREVER. Yes I know Bryton McClure won an Emmy this year for his acting on the show. And I am glad he won. However, it still doesn’t take away from the fact his character Devon is so UNDER DEVELOPED. I think it is disgusting and racist what the writers at Y&R have done to Bryton’s character.

Devon is just there he is just a stereotype  and a quota. Devon is depicted as the classic stereotypical “angry” young black man.  Devon is always angry, miserable, and depressed. “Anger” is an important because sometimes we need to express ourselves to highlight issues that upset us. Sometimes  “anger” is not a negative thing. In fact, I believe its important to be fired up about something and do something proactive and constructive. However, all we see is one side of Devon he’s always angry. We never see Devon happy.

I have never seen Devon with a smile on his face, or see Devon eyes melts when he sees the girl he loves and I would love to see Devon have a love life and have a fully balanced life. We all need love, passion, sex, its a part of life. Yet because Devon is a young black man American culture wants to rob and steal happiness from young black men. Some people say soaps are not important but the racist messages soaps are sending to society are abhorrent. Devon is just depicted as this noble savage, a young black man with no self control with no heart. And that’s wrong. Devon may be a TV character but I cannot help but think Bryton McClure must be cognizant to what’s going on with his character. I have never seen Devon kiss a girl. There is absolutely no reason in this world why Devon cannot have a love life.

Victoria Rowell quit Y&R, because she felt her character Dru Winters wasn’t treated fairly compared to her white female counterparts on the program.  Y&R has NEVER  submitted Victoria’s work for consideration  for a best actress Emmy nomination, despite the fact she’s one of the main reasons Y&R became so popular with black audiences.

Victoria and Kristoff are  the main reason Y&R became so successful for the past seventeen years. You cannot fake the chemistry Victoria and Kristoff had with one another. And now Dru Winters is gone and the show will never be the same.

Yet Devon is  just there in the background emasculated and unloved and I wonder why? Why does Y&R have Devon on the show if he cannot have a love life?  All the other white guys around  Devon’s  age on the show JT, Kevin, and Daniel have love interests. Why can’t Devon?  Are the writers and producers of Y&R trying to tell me that Devon cannot have a love life due to the fact he’s black?

Is Devon not attractive or sexy enough?  Now that is whack!  Its painfully obvious though Devon has no love life due to racism. Devon is always treated as an outsider and he also never gets any juicy storylines.

In fact, the character  Daniel is in an interracial relationship with Lily she is Devon’s adoptive sister.  Daniel also has feelings for a white girl named Amber.  So the white guy Daniel can get the black girls AND the white girls but Devon cannot have anyone? Devon has to be asexual. Everyone knows that the white American male is the dominant male on American TV.

And in American history white males have attempted to circumvent black male sexuality through public  lynchings,  miscegenation laws,  violence, death threats you name it white American men have done it. Its all in the history books and its taking place as I write this post.

The pernicious racist message the writers of Y&R are sending is that black men cannot have love lives on Y&R UNLESS they are paired with black women.  And its not because the writers on Y&R believe in black on black love either. The Y&R and other American soaps care about is not upsetting their white audiences. Black on black romance is actually CONSIDERED SAFE.

Now for the record I do not mind Black on Black romance. I welcome black on black romance. I think its a good thing. However,  its the year 2007 and I also believe on the soaps there is an imbalance.  Interracial relationships between black men and white women are a REALITY in the real world and I think TV and popular culture should reflect that. Yet the love between black men and white women seems to be the last taboo to crack open.

Black women have been having romances with white men on the soaps in large numbers since the 1980s. However, given the fact there are NO black women on Y&R right now wouldn’t it make sense for Neil and Devon to be paired with women they work with and know?  The logical and smart thing to do would be to pair Neil and Devon with the white women on the show. However, the truth is this is never going to happen.

It is indeed a disgusting racist message the Y&R writers and producers are sending. The black female character Lily Winters has been in an interracial romance with Daniel for years. No one was complained at all. Yet Devon cannot have a girlfriend? Devon is just supposed to be the asexual black man while all the white guys on the show getting the girls? Are the writers trying to say black men are LESS sexually attractive or not good enough to get white women or women of other races? Its disgusting and deleterious what the Y&R writers are doing and no one is speaking out about it UNTIL NOW.

For a long time the writers have been making suggestions that Devon still has sexual feelings for his adoptive sister Lily. Yes I know this is so gross. It also highlights the issue of racism on Daytime TV.  The writers at NBC Passions and CBS Y&R are trying to “PLAY IT SAFE.” On Passions, Whitney has had white male love interests and no one said anything. And now they are going to do a total 360 and make Chad bisexual. Why don’t the writers of Passions make some of the white male actors bisexual?

Could you imagine the white women in America flipping out if Fox or Ethan were suddenly turned gay? Now you would think because I am a gay black male I would love for Chad to be gay. Chad is cute but I also believe in shows being REALISTIC. Chad cannot suddenly turn gay. The only reason the writers did this is because they had NO OTHER OPTIONS FOR CHAD. Chad already has been with Whitney so the only option was to turn him gay?

Its a powerful statement when a TV network is so dead set AGAINST the black male character having a RELATIONSHIP WITH A WHITE WOMAN. So they change Chad’s sexual orientaiton to gay? Even though I am gay and yes I think Chad is hot. I think its a total disgrace what NBC is doing. Its incredibly insensitive and racist and it makes absolutely no sense. In fact, the Chad and Vincent down low storyline is a perfect example of the racism and the fear and loathing of black male sexuality.

Its the same  pathetic and disgusting storyline that the writers of Y&R would pair Devon and Lily together just due to their race. Its also abhorrent because their characters are adoptive brother and sister. The exact same storyline is taking place on the  NBC show Passions. Whitney and Chad were lovers and then the writers said they were brother and sister but now they are saying they are not. Chad has NEVER had a female love interest OTHER then Whitney.  And to top it off Chad is now supposed to be on the down low? Give me a break. The racist, sexist, and pernicious storylines for the black male characters on soaps is really so horrible.

The black men are depicted as sexual savages that lust after their sisters? Give me a break. The ONLY reason Devon and Lily would hook up is because the writers of Y&R are TOO RACIST to put Devon with any other female on the show. And the fact is all the other females on Y&R are WHITE and NOT BLACK. Its the year 2007 but this racism is still going on TV.

It is easy to discern that Neil and Devon cannot have white female love interests because there is still the untalked about truth about the fear of black male sexuality on the Daytime soaps. Even though black men have been dating and marrying white women in higher numbers. The daytime TV does not reflect the reality of society.

I have noticed on Y&R that Devon when he first came on the show he had the stereotypical storyline of the young black male that had a harsh life and lived on the streets. Now Devon’s character has evolved and he’s in college. Devon is gorgeous! So why can’t Devon have a girlfriend? Is Devon too black for that? It appears to me the writers and producers of Y&R are trying to make the show appeal to the middle to upper class white American women. And even though  its well known that some white women chase,  lust,  and crave black men they seem to have a problem accepting black men as love interests for white women on the soaps. There is a paucity of black male characters on the soaps in  interracial relationships.

In the past, Y&R used to hire a black actress to play Neil Winters  new love interest whenever he had problems with Dru.  Neil Winters is Devon’s adoptive father.  Now last year Y&R hired a Latina actress to play Neil’s mistress, and I didn’t mind that. However,  I would of liked the writers to move beyond the whole minority actress thing and let Neil have an affair with a white woman.

Why can’t Neil have a relationship with Sharon? Sharon and Neil share a sexual chemistry. I doubt the writers at Y&R would EVER go there.  I think it would of been more controversial and explosive.  Its obvious the writers chose the Latina actress to be Neil’s love interest because it was “safer” for Carmen to be Latina instead of a “white American woman.”

Even though, there are indeed Latinos that are white since Latin is not a race its simply a culture.   However, now that Neil Winters wife Dru has died. I wonder what the writers of Y&R will do? Will Neil be with a new woman of colour or not?  Will Neil ever have romance with a white female lead on Y&R such as Sharon? Will Devon have a love life and NOT some sick incest romance with his adoptive sister Lily?  Its the year 2007, and the writers at Y&R and Passions have demonstrated once again the same racist and sexist stereotypes of black male sexuality still exist. I will not hold my breath for change to occur.

About orvillelloyddouglas

I am a gay black Canadian male.

23 responses to “Black Men Need Not Apply: No Love for Neil, Devon, and Chad, on Daytime Soaps”

  1. Jamal spunky says :

    Even though you only scratched the surface of the problem of black men on daytime TV, this blog was nonetheless very good and long overdue. How ironic that its a gay black man who champions the right of black male characters to have various types of heterosexual relationships. I’m a staright black male who would have never seen your blog if it wasn’t for someone posting a link to it on a website I visit. You though did took on a topic that no other black writer/blogger has taken on. Particularly no straight black amle writer/blogger. Perhaps it has something to do with you being more sensitive and invested in the desirability of black male characters on screen. Whatever the reason I’m glad you took the time to write out your thoughts and calling out the downright despicable racism and double standards of soaps.

  2. orvillelloyddouglas says :

    Hello thanks for the kind words. I am curious which website was the link? Anyhow, even though I am gay I am a black man and I believe black heterosexual men deserve the right to have meaningful relationships on TV. TV is a very powerful social tool. Pop culture isn’t just entertainment I believe mesages, stereotypes, and racist beliefs are transmitted through various TV programs. I want to see balance on TV. Enough with the stereotypes of young black men. Why can’t young black heterosexual be shown to be loving and caring people? One thing I don’t like is why can’t black men be allowed to be shown as vulnerable? Be able to be men with feelings and emotions BESIDES ANGER. People cannot be ANGRY all the time. There is more to life then that.

    I definitely believe hollywood attempts to emasculate the black heterosexual men becuase there is a fear of black male heterosexuality. The TV and films are all about white male dominance and white male domination. In the films and TV the white guys always get the girls yet the black man doesn’t. I just had to write out my thoughts about this issue. I know a lot of people find the soaps to be frivolous but the status quo is indeed maintained on these shows. I am glad I have a blog where I am able to talk about issues so many people choose to ignore.

  3. Kenny says :

    Brotha you are so right on target with this.I’m straight and I have to admit I was surprised a Gay man would notice these attempts at emasculation. I stopped watching General Hospital when the sista on the show left the Black doctor to be with Tom Hardy Jr.In the same week the only Latina on the show was acquitted of killing her Latin Boyfriend and ran off with her White savior. Mind you they showed her kiling the Latin guy! Prime time is no better . On Girlfriends a White guy was brought on as a love interest. What they are saying without verbalizing it is that Black men are not capable of faling in love with. Thanks for putting it out there. Your article is on also.

  4. Karsh says :

    See…this is why I don’t mess with Y&R! Seriously though, I don’t know that CBS has EVER done much in the way of bringing on Black actors on their soaps. I have a friend in NYC, Dave Spearman, who had a brief stint on Bold and the Beautiful, but told me they quickly wrote his character off for no reason. To hear him tell it, he “left the coffee shop, and never came back”.

    NBC and Passions, as silly as it is sometimes, does have a good number of Black actors. I’d have to say that One Life to Live on ABC has the most representations of people of color on there though. (Suffice it to say, I’m mostly an AMC fan. Bring back Noah…so what if he’s dead?)

  5. Jamal spunky says :

    Orvilleloydouglas, the site that I discovered the link to your blog is an interracial site. Some of us like myself visit the site mainly for talk about black male representation in TV and film, particularly with an interracial slant. Here is the link to the exact thread in which your blog was mentioned.

    To pick up on some of your points I do think there are representations of black men as vulnerable on TV although they may be in the minority (no pun intended). The most angry black males tend to come from reality shows in my opinion so what does that say? Getting back to fictional TV my main problem with how black characters are presented, besides the sexually castration of black men, is how one dimensional or uninteresting they are presented. Over the last year or two when I have gone to message boards devoted to Y&R and people start a discussion of the lack of screen time and development for Devon, a few fans will always justify the writers’ decision by claiming that Devon is boring and therefore deserves his exclusion fro storylines. My counter would always be that there isn’t any boring or uninteresting characters; there are just unimaginative writers who don’t want to invest in any characters beyond fan favorites, characters they’ve attached themselves too or characters they relate to. Increasingly soap writers don’t seem to relate to black males.

    That’s not a surprise considering I don’t know of any recent black male soap writer (but do know of a handful of black female soap writers). As a result we tend to have shows in which black male characters are created for diversity’s sake but no true investment in the character comes about fro the writers. The black male characters will likely not get the majority of screen time and will not likely be one of the shows’ true leads. Their importance to the main storylines and arcs are minimal at best. Their sexuality is repressed and often unexamined. Being part of a love triangle is not an option for them unless, in these more recent years, they are on the losing end of a triangle in which the other two key people in this triangle are a white man (or Latin man) and a black woman. These black male characters never get much to do and are typically not the hero of the day. These types of unimportant African American males can be found in primetime on shows such as “Heroes” where actually not one bit of effort was put forward to make the character “DL” fascinating. But on daytime these slights towards black men are more pronounced.

    Daytime shows air five days a week throughout the whole year. A primetime drama produces 22 eps a year. Daytime series, factoring about a week or two worth’s of broadcast interruption for special sporting events or holidays, can produce up to 250 hours worth of programming! With so much time to fill in, with so many repetitive stories being recycled throughout a given year and with so many moments that TPTB need to come up with filler by having characters repeat the same lines and have the same conversations throughout a give week, you would think daytime shows would have more than enough minutes to spread the wealth throughout its entire cast. But we know this isn’t the case. Those damn shows treat the soap audience as if they are almost an exclusively red-stare, rural-living, country music-loving folks who only will tolerate white idols on their TV screens. Its like a Harlequin romance novels with the main difference is that the scattered romances between white women and Native American men are represented by white women and Hispanic men. And just as Harlequin romance novels have started to include a few books involving relationships between white men and black women (obviously for a growing black female customer base who dream of being wooed by white Romeos), soaps have been providing such pairings more and more over the last 20 years while virtually excluding such pairings between white women and black men.

    And it goes further than that. Its all about limitations place upon black characters. To become truly intertwined in the main ongoing plots characters must have one or more traits. The first trait is being related to one (but preferably more than one) character on the show. But if you take a look at soaps today there are less black characters and less black families than there were 10 or 20 years ago (daytime TV is probably the one institution of Hollywood that has gone backwards instead of forwards in most respects). Often there is just one or maybe two black characters total. As a result that gives a new black character or an established black character less of an advantage than the white characters. The white characters have a larger pool of options for familial relations. A new character can arrive in town and be the missing brother of a handful of established white characters (more important if he is related to one of the most popular white characters on the show). Or a female character who has been around for years can find out she is actually the assumed dead daughter of the major family of the show. These are not options a black character has. A black character is lucky enough to have one relative on a series. But if it’s a black male character and since they are likely to give him a black female love interest having one or more family members on the show would man there is at least three regular black characters (and by this I mean contract actors, not actors playing recurring characters) on the show and that just doesn’t happen much these days. And without family history and conflicts and relationships you are often stuck with a character with no background or true connection to other characters on the show. Again adding on one or two or three black family members is unlikely to happen today because daytime TV has not shown and signs that it cares about adding multiple black characters to its shows. Of course an option to limit the amount of blacks if a black male character was on the show and TPTB wanted to give him a family member would be to drop the black female love interest and just make him celibate. Which takes me to trait #2…

    For a male or female character to have star potential he/she must not have all romantic options at their disposal. On The Young and The Restless characters like Jack and Phyllis could go through a dozen or more relationships over the course of their run on the show. Any new hot character on the show could possibly be paired with them. Any established character could be paired with them. Of course almost all if not all of those said characters may be white themselves but considering that 97% of the cast is also white that essentially means that white leads like Jack and Phyllis have extraordinary options at their disposal. The same can not be said of black characters who have historically been paired with characters of the same race. Yes, white characters have historically been paired with other white characters too the vast majority of the times but again it should be noted that because there are far more white characters and that white characters tend to get the best storylines, its an advantage for them. Black characters get the disadvantage of the limited romantic options and the typically the less engaging stories. On Y&R this led to the amusing and pathetic romantic recycling of the Winters (Neil and Malcolm) and the Barbers (Dru and Olivia). Those two brothers would date those two sisters almost exclusively for years and vice versa. They were not free to enlarge their family relations or enlarge their romantic canvas by marrying or dating a member of the Newmans or Abbots (well, except for one half-hearted attempt at pairing Neil with Victoria which was so lame that even though they were engaged they never even kissed on screen it seemed). Now this type of limitation is not being put in the way of black female characters who can not only ate a white/his panic man but move on from one to another to boot. But black men, for the most part, still face this limitation. And a male character, no matter how attractive, who does not have the option to get the best storylines by being paired with the available (mostly white) female characters on the show is doomed. Doomed to be sexually castrated which means doomed in his chances to be a true breakout star and leading man on daytime TV.

    So getting back to Devon he faces these types of limitations but, as I pointed out earlier, the writers take it a step further by not regularly supplying him with interesting storylines. They treat him like a token instead, a number to keep the NAACP off their backs perhaps. But they leave him dangling in the wind with no plots, no romantic relationships, no serious screen time. As a result and to no ones surprise the audience can see that the character in question is dull but the vast majority of them won’t think about the dynamics behind the scenes that make him that way. And that lack of insight leads to many if not most viewers dismissing the character as boring or uninteresting. And when the writers/producers see that the lack of buzz from fans concerning this limited black character (and its already bad enough that most black characters start off further down the buzz meter than white characters when first introduced) they can justify in their minds the lack of attention they’ve given this character all along. See how insidious it is? There have been some exceptions to this handling of black male characters (including on Y&R with Damon Porter), but for the most part this is the norm.

    You are also right on the money, Orvilleloydouglas, about the white male dominance present in TV and especially movies. It has never been this great before because at one time in Hollywood at least you had about an equal number of white female screen idols as white male screen idols. But now the one dominant type of person on screens is white men. Its white male worship at its finest. They are even doing movies like “Troy” in which the producers and directors were more concerned about casting their best looking white men for audiences to lust after more than they were in casting a gorgeous knockout white actress to play Helen of Troy, whose beauty was supposed to have triggered the conflict in the first place! Does anyone remember the actress who played Helen in “Troy”? No? Exactly my point!

    Back to daytime…how is it that black consumers who segregate themselves for the most part in terms of the musicians and singes they support, who go out of their way to watch black films (even if they are horrible Wayan comedies), who tend to support the black sitcoms on TV as well as any primetime show with a huge black presence, can be so passive when it comes to the lack of black characters on daytime TV? Especially black women who gobble up this junk even though soaps can care less about black characters and their black viewers? Its unbelievable. Of course some if not most black female viewers are part of the problem because they readily accept and are thrilled by pairings of black female characters with white men although they do reportedly send negative letters to networks when a black male characters is even being considered being paired with a non-black female.

  6. Jamal spunky says :

    Karsh, Frankly I don’t understand where you’re coming from. As troublesome as the current dynamics on Y&R are it still has done a better job with presenting and spotlighting black characters than all the other current daytime shows. For over fifteen years now black characters have been a constant on the series; in other words there have always been black actors who are under contract on the show during that time. I have seen many daytime series lose their one or two black actors/actresses and then spend months before creating a new black character and then hiring an actor/actress for the role. Y&R though has never been in that situation for nearly two decades AND it has always had at last one black family as part of the show during that run. Plus it is credited in casting arguably one of the two biggest black male stars in the history of soaps (Shemar Moore) as well as hiring the arguably the other greatest black male soap star (Keith Hamilton Cobb) to play the role of Damon Porter, a black man who had the most romantic options ever laid out before a black man on daytime TV. Unfortunately the current problem seems to be the result of a new head writer whom, fro reports I’ve read on message boards, have no use for the black characters other than Lily who can’t stop herself from dropping her panties around any white guy she comes around. But this current problem and some of the typical limitations the black cast had to suffer through over the years doesn’t take away from all the good Y&R had done for black charactes over the years.

    As for the shows you gave props too…

    All My children is garbage. What black character of importance has been on the show since Noah left? They had a couple of black male characters (“Dog Boy” and Jessie’s son) who appeared for a minute, were underdeveloped and dropped like a stone. They had the adopted son of the District Attorney, Jack who also was badly utilized. In fact his black girlfriend on the show even slept with some white guy she just met on the beach while she was still dating him. And after a year of getting less and less to do, the dude was unceremoniously let go and the character disappeared without anyone noticing. Oh, and there was the stepfather of his black girlfriend played by an black actor whom daytime magazine writers have universally praised for being a talented rising star in the biz. But instead of investing in this guy and keeping him around TPTB decided to make quick work of hi by turning him into some villain who preyed on under aged, impressionable girls as well as being some hired killer to boot. Uh-huh. Out the door he went. And the worst insult was to not bring Keith Hamilton Cobb/Noah back. Noah and Julia were one of the hottest daytime couples of the 90s. And they are arguably the most successful interracial couple (though on the show the white Sydney Penny plays a latina) ever in daytime. When Penny returned to play Julia the obvious question by fans and the media was if Noah was coming back. It was a no-brainer because on soaps the #1 rule is that if you can reunite a super couple you do so at all costs. So imagine my reaction when the headwriter told the media she didn’t have any current plans on bringing Noah back. Two years alter there still has not been any movement to bring Noah/Keith Hamilton Cobb back to the show. Could you imagine that happening if Noah was white? Hell, no. They have let Julia move on with her life and forgotten all about what pairing made her a daytime fave in the first place.

    Another ABC show is the despicable One life to Live in which for about six or so years THE ONLY BLACK MALE CHARACTER was a bad guy named RJ. Eve though he was played by a brilliant actor he was still a criminal. And not a Sonny of General Hospital type of criminal in which he is romanticized, is propped up as the leading man of the show, is show to be morally superior than the cops on the show and always wins in the end. No, RJ was just a nigga who never won a damn thing and never got the girl (or if he did lost her real quickly). The white cops and latino cops would push him around repeatedly and sleep with his daughter (black chick) or the mother of his child (white chick whom he never slept with on the show) and RJ never got a major storyline. He was just a bit player. When he started to go good and was paired with an up and coming black actress who played Evangeline, the writers would eventually break them up by making having her have an affair with one of RJ’s rivals from the police force (a white guy). Soon RJ was the one dimensional bad guy again while Evangeline became the hot and heavy lover for the cop. Not once did Evangeline own up for betraying RJ in the first place because in the minds of soap writers a black criminal is not worthy of being treated like a human being, so why should she apologize. Everything done to him was justified and he became the town’s scurge. And after Evangeline broke up with the cop she started having all sorts of affairs with other white or latin characters on the show. The show created a sister character for her and that girl was hooking up with the non-black male characters too. How progressive! And after all the years of loyalty the actor playing RJ was let go as a contract actor. Months later the writers would create two more black characters and both of them were criminals too!

    The less said about General Hospital the better.

    And there may never have been as racist a show towards black men than Passions on NBC. The two main black couples were Chad and Whitney (who were becoming the most popular black couple since Jessie and Angie on AMC back in the early 80s). But TPTB didn’t have an investment in such a relationship so they tried to make fans sour on it by for years floating around the possibility that Chad could be Whitney’s long-lost brother. The two of them didn’t know but we the audience knew it was a possibility so seeing them sleep together was unnerving and dampened the enthusiasm for the couple. During that time TPTB took the opportunity to break the two of them up and pair Whitney with a white guy named Fox. Chad had a pairing with some Latina chick that lasted half a minute with no sex on screen (unlike Whitney and Fox). After putting Cad and Whitney back together again (and knowing a year ahead that the show would be leaving the air) the writers decided to be “bold” and make Chad into some downlow gay guy. And, what do you know, his gay lover is white! This suggests daytime TV, with a large conservative fanbase, is more comfortable with a black man in a homosexual relationship than a black guy in a relationship with a white woman. Simply amazing.

    The other black couple was Whitney’s parents. Her dad is named TC. TC is a buffoon who can’t control his temper and looks as if he was dressed by Stevie Wonder. He is not given any truly admirable qualities even though he does not play a villain. His wife, Eve, was a woman with many secrets. One of those secrets was that she was supposedly raped by a white male character years ago and hated him for it. That white male was originally in the first few years, presented as one of the main bad guys on the show. But he was still a white male which meant the writers would never limit his romantic opportunities. So they have Eve fall in love with him (her rapist!) and justified it by presenting TC even further as a buffoon that audiences would not sympathize or see truly as a romantic love interest. TC was I fact stuck with Eve’s sister, because of course a black man on that show could not date outside his race. Unless of course he was dating another man.

    (yeah, folks, I know my soaps. Do not laugh. I had aunts, sisters, cousins and girlfriends who watched those things either regularly or religiously. I got caught up in all of that).

    Seriously, Karsh these are the shows that you see as doing a better job with black male characters? Come on.

  7. brad says :

    Hi. The actress who played Neil’s lover is Afro-Latina Marissa Ramierz, who once starred on General Hospital (where her character was African-American).

    I don’t think that adoptive siblings who have only known each other for 3 or 4 years are disgusting for having romantic feelings for each other. They aren’t blood relatives, right?

    I think the ABC soaps have done better with black men having white lovers. However, ABC does a poor job of keeping around black characters in general. On Y&R, they did have Keith Hamilton Cobb, who’s African-American, have a passionate affair with Michelle Stafford, who’s Caucasian.

    In general, however, most soaps, especially Guiding Light and As the World Turns do a horrible job of developing and maintaining characters of color. Every so often they make a tepid attempt at bringing in a black or Latino family only to see them shuffled off to Buffalo.

    For instance, As the World Turns introduced the biracial character of Jade, daughter of the late Rose. Jade came to town and became the schemer chick. Usually, characters like this are redeemed into sympathetic figures. Not so with Jade, who got her walking papers just a few weeks ago. Thus, As the World Turns is pretty much all-white once again.

  8. Jamal spunky says :

    -I once thought Marissa Ramierz, before I knew of her name, was black (as in African American). When I learned of her last name I thought she was a Latino of African descent ( a group of people who tend to be ignored, forgotten about or not thought of as being “black” at all by some folks). Then irate black females on message boards told me that she wasn’t of african descent either. At first I thought they were mistaken. I thought they were typical Americans who didn’t realize that Hispanics are not of one race. When I learned that Marissa was using a braided wig to play the role of Gina on GH I still thought that she was of african descent. But then I saw pictures of her finally without the wig I began to understand why those female posters were upset. It was then I realized that her olive skin tone and her lips could be simply be a result of the indigenous/mesthizo (I know I spelled that wrong)/Native American ancestry at work. When I saw her in other shows such as Young and the Restless ( as Carmen) I came to the conclusion that she wasn’t Afro-Latino. Maybe I’m wrong (I need to look it up) but as far as I can tell now she was a non-black Hispanic playing a black role on General Hospital. There was another non-black Hispanic who played the role of a black character on All My Children for a couple of years too (she was briefly involved with Jesse’s son). In the end it doesn’t matter because TPTB ended the potential affair between Neil and Carmen quick. While white guys like Jack got to sleep with her, Neil was only allowed a few kisses. If it had been one of the white male characters you can bet TPTB would have at least allowed the character to sleep with Carmen a few times before realizing that he was out of his mind to cheat on his wife. But black male characters are not allowed those types of moments on soaps (and hardly anywhere on TV and in film for that matter).

    -Even if you don’t think its a big deal about two adoptive siblings getting it on, will you at least concede that the only time TPTB will allow Devon to get close to a woman is when he’s pining over Lily? And even those moments are rare and we all know that ultimately he has no chance. No sex allowed for him! Meanwhile sex offender and would-be murderer Kevin has had a few chicks by now as has Daniel.

    -If you take away Noah-Julia because Julia was an “ethnic Hispanic” on All My Children (based on the physical traits of her parents and her big sister, Maria) what other black male-white female pairing of any consequence has happened on ABC other than Jamal and Alison on Port Charles? I’m not going to count the no-sex coupling of RJ and Lindsey of OLTL as being of any consequence especially since they rarely got any screen time. General Hospital had a chance with Justus and that ridiculous blonde mafia woman, but they killed her off quick. Therefore there is no evidence to support ABC has done a better job than CBS. The truth is all the networks have been lousy on this front (and on black male sexuality in general).

    -Tepid attempts at bringing in Latino families? I’m sorry but bringing in Latino characters have been the norm for over a decade and TPTB for the most part have come up with stories that allowed these characters to blend in and intermary other non-Hispanic characters. Days of Our Lives did it in the late 80s and early 90s and looked as if it was doing it again until Brandon turned out to be Abe’s son. All My Children and One Life To Live (both of ABC) have had a latino family who are in the mix of the biggest storylines for over ten years now. General Hospital, also of ABC, have repeatedly created latino characters (mostly men who sleep with white women) on a regular basis. Not to mention its leading character of the past ten years, Sonny Corrinthos, is also Latino (which means that lone Hispanic character has had probably more storylines and screen time than all black characters combined for ALL Soaps over the past ten years—-just think about that).

    ON CBS The Young and the Restless has, admittedly, never been terribly successful with its latino characters but at least they are not afraid to pair them with the white characters like they are afraid to do with black characters. The Guiding Light had a strong Latino presence/family aboard for about five years. Bold and the Beautiful failed miserably with its shot at storylines for its latino characters but for a year gave it a good shot and still has about one or two of those characters still on the show (which is one or two more than the number of black characters).

    And on NBC, other than Days, “Passions” has had, from the beginning, a strong latino and slightly less strong black presence on the show. Granted on soaps many if not most of the latino characters have been played by white actors/actresses (who are not of Hispanic heritage) which makes it easier for TPTB to put those characters in the spotlight.

    -Jade at least got a lot more to do than Jessica’s nephew on As the World Turns (the dark skinned black actor, who was good at playing this character, was replaced by a light skinned actor whose ethnicity is harder to pin down). And, no, Jade is not the first character to come in and not get redeemed.

  9. Concerned says :

    Yes, ur right. But an interacial couple is does not begin with a when a white male goes out of his race. It’s only when a white woman goes from her race that we have the term interacial. Because it stems from the fack that wh would a human go with an animal ( black male), than choosing the obvious mate ( white male) into their lives

  10. Jamal spunky says :

    Concerned, learn how to spell and then come back with the jokes. That’s something even a sub-human like yourself should be able to do. Also shave all the hair off your back since that makes you more animal-like than most.

  11. asiya007 says :

    I did enjoy reading your article and agree with you 100%. The more I watch Y&R and see scenes with Devon lusting after Lily the sicker I become. Another thing is that these men are not ignorant Devon is moving up nicely at Newman and Neil is an executive board member. They did bring in Nia Peeples as a love interest for Neil though, Devon is still flying solo.

    I did remember awhile back when Neil and Victoria had a thing going, I read somewhere that Kristoff St.John received a lot of hate mail because of that relationship. This causes me to believe that it’s fear from some of the female viewers and they don’t want to deal with the backlash. However, it’s still not right I can’t understand why there’s like only 3 black people in Genoa City, what’s up with that?

    Devon needs a love interest NOW. I can honestly say that I will stop watching the show if him and Lily hook up because that’s just not cool. Thanks again for writing this blog it needed to be said.

  12. Gregory says :

    I definitely agree you. In my personal opinion, the soaps are practicing a form of Racism that is there, not mentioned. They don’t have a problem showing only BM with BW, why are they threatened with showing a BM with a WW? I don’t understand that stupidity.

    Its not just Y&R, the other soaps are equally guilty too. They don’t have a problem with Latinos who look White. They have treated dark skinned latinos the same way as Black people. I am so sick and tired of this double standard and will not watch the soaps at all nor Y&R. Why should I watch a program that disrespect us as a race especially BM?

    Your blog not only indicts soap operas, Hollywood as well.

  13. India says :

    I don’t know where the solution lies, but most white women do not want to be known as black cock whores that’s for sure. Also since it’s black men who have a slavish adoration for white women they should join fan clubs and make it known they are still waiting in the wings. Being that most of you hate black women nothing short of being portrayed with white women 100% of the time will quench your needs. Most of us would never dream of disrespecting white men just to destroy our bond with them. In the end black men are the only ones that will be left out in the cold. No one respects such shallow shells of real men.

  14. Jamal spunky says :

    Oh, God. Another quack with a bunch of racist hysteria to share with the rest of us. I don’t know what race or even gender India is. This is the internet after all and accountability goes out the window. People pretend to be anything they want. And small-minded, insecure, race-baiting or self-hating trolls manage to summon their “courage” only via the invisibility of a computer and a cable connection.

    Obvious the column and the following posts triggered India’s security and he/she/it went on the attack mode with a bunch of false generalizations and stereotypes. While some of us correctly targeted a hypocritical and often racist-industry in a thoughtful manner with some facts to back it up, India gave us some ridiculous attempt at a flame-war with attacks on black men. Oooooh. So harsh. The agitated poster even resorted to the old stereotypes of black men lusting after white women. Hey, I don’t see any trace of that in the article or the discussion. First of all the original writer is gay so I doubt he’s lusting after any woman, not even the white ones. Next the majority of the rest of us are referring to equality and fairness. To limit the options of women available to black men on soaps and to “castrate” them overall for decades now is a issue worthy of discussion. Especially since sopas increasingly don’t have a problem allowing black women to not be similiarly limited. These responses and comments were much more worthy than hit-and-run rants by people with serious issues like “India”. The more people like India and the other loser “Concerned” pop up with their ridiculous responses only further proves how threatening black male sexuality are too plenty of people in this country (nothing new there). Their hateful posts speak volumes. But that comes as no surprise. And if I may stoop to their level a bit for one moment, the only animal-like lusting going on in America is white guys towards Asian women. but of course no one would dare stereotype white men about it, right?

    With that said there was no evidence of hatred towards black women in these posts either nor any examples of “shallow” thoughts and feelings. That’s just a string of old, cliche jibes thrown out towards black men by people who don’t have enough intelligence to form a counter argument. I’m surprised India didn’t point out how much we love watermelon, dancing and basketball, too! Tahnks for wasting our time. Seek help.

  15. Jules says :

    Black males being paired with Black females is fine.
    Black females being paired with White males is fine.
    Black males being paired with White females is fine.

    No one questions why Asian American characters are so few and far between.

    Don’t people question why White women are stereotyped as actively pursuing black
    males but not Chinese, or Arabic men?

    In the end I believe love is love. I always will.

    As a black female I am open to different people yet understand that there is prejudice against black men, and women in particular.

    Men are still measured by their ability to get a lot of women, and women are still thought of as status symbols.

    • Smgjazzy says :

      what the hell are you talking about? For one Black men are being eliminated by a white male dominated society, and FYI there are no chinese women on the planet who would date a black male that is also a lie, the truth is they like east indian only exclusively date white men. Now the Hispanic and yes black woman are going to them. It is in every movie coming out, White male protagonist hero BS, Hollywood BS!! AVATAR, and they picked Zoe zaldana who hates black men, and dates a white man, she is Dominician. Princess and the frog, something new, mercy TV series, White men dont want to see black love, or black men romancing their woman but it is ok to take ours now, divide and conquer, The truth is media, Government, and everythng else controlled by white man is doing all it can to eliminate black men. They are not treated well anywhere not even the white house. Just open your eyes..Personally i am attractive, educated, but live in New York and i can tell you Asian, east indian, dont want you cause your black, and hispanic and black woman dont want you cause you act too white, yet will date a white man who will spend money on them., and end up with a thug and then cry and say there are no good men out here, all of this is just Bullshit really, it is; and i am so sick of white people and their racist asses i dont know what to do. they are not most beautiful, talented, but they are the best liars, cheats, manipulators, thieves, corrupt people the devil ever put on the earth.

  16. orvillelloyddouglas says :

    Jules you didn’t answer the question. The topic of discussion here is specifically about why are black men emasculated on TV? Latino men, white men get the woman but black men don’t? Y&R did have Michelle Stafford have a black male love interest but it was for a very short period of time. The bottom line is that’s rare. Everyone knows white women are attracted to black men yet the white male and maybe even some white female TV executives don’t want a black man/White female love storyline to be the “main” love storyline on the American soaps. The question is why? Its the year 2007 right?

    If its alright for black men to be love interests on soaps why is it so hard to see on the small screen? Don’t you see Jules black women are not viewed as a threat. Again, this goes back to white male dominance over all women. TV doesn’t mind depicting black women falling in love with white men on the soaps. And plenty of black women don’t have a problem with that. However, I notice a double standard, black men being paired with white women is still the ultimate taboo in North America. Why is that? Let’s be real and honest here the TV executives and perhaps even the white female demographic do not to see black men with white women. Society has a love/hate relationship with black male sexuality. I think its very racist to emasculate black men on the soaps. I say if black men cannot be treated fairly as white men on the American soaps then why bother having them on the soaps at all.

  17. Jattobexess says :


    This is my first post here.. Hello to everyone!

    So long

  18. Gavin Wright says :

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