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Wendy Riche on "If the AIDS story on GH originally was told through A.J. Quartermaine!

What if the character of A.J. Quartermaine would have been the main character that  drove the thrust of  the AIDS story that ended up being told through the love story of Robin and Stone on General Hospital back in the early 90’s? That is something that is discussed in part two of Wendy Riche’s interview at We Love Soaps.

Riche, the former executive producer of General Hospital, who was at the epicenter of many of the fantastic socially relevant stories in GH’s deep history, admitted that their originally was a bit of a dispute between then GH, head writer, Claire Labine, and Riche, as to what character would lead the AIDS story.   Here are some compelling excerpts!

Riche: “I wanted to do a story about AIDS when I first got to GH.  AIDS was on the rise, a non-discriminating disease that didn’t care who it attacked.  I felt it was an issue of great importance and wanted to find a way to interface many of the characters of Port Charles with the hospital.  At first, I thought it could be a story for A.J. Quartermaine.  I thought, what would happen if A.J. had another drunken night in college, one of many, and explore what would happen when a friend, a male friend, from college shows up at the Quartermaine mansion wanting A.J.’s help since his family threw him out because he had AIDS.  And A.J. doesn’t remember who had sex with who, and what he did during so many drunken orgies.  They could have both had sex with a woman who was a drug addict. The intention was not to make them gay, but the implication might have stirred up a lot.  We could have asked, “Why does everyone care so much if he was gay? Why does he care? How would Edward Quatermaine react and what would Lila do to bring the family back together?”  We could have looked at it all.  But it wasn’t about being gay, I didn’t want to be, “Oh those gay people, of course they screw around so much…” of some B.S. like that.   AIDS is a non-discriminating disease, it doesn’t care who you are are or what your sexuality is.  If you do stupid things, have unprotected sex, you risk getting it.  If we had done it with a gay character we would not have gotten the message of urgency across.  So the intention was to have a smart person who was not gay but made stupid choices get AIDS.  I didn’t have Claire at the time, and I don’t know if Claire would have even wanted to do it that way, but the network did not want to do that story. They didn’t want A.J. to be in question of having AIDS, or maybe not being 100% heterosexual, they just didn’t want to go there because he was a Quartermaine, which of course, is exactly why I wanted to go there.

I talked to Claire about this, and she came up with Robin and Stone.  She was not ready to do this story at the beginning of her run on GH.  But one day, a year later, we were at a company retreat dinner and she looked at me with that twinkle in her eye, learned over, and whispered, “I think I’ve got it.”  She told me the story in two lines and I loved it.  It was everything I hoped for.  We were so excited, we told Pat [Fili-Krushel] right then and there and she said to go with it.  Claire and I had driven up to Connecticut together for the retreat and what was wonderful is that we had the long trip to talk about it.”

So what do you think if the story had gone to A.J. instead of Robin and Stone?

General Hospital

GH’s Rebecca Herbst Thanks Fans for the Birthday Love

She is not often on social media, but when she does show up, it delights so many of her enduring fans. General Hospital’s Rebecca Herbst (Elizabeth), who yesterday celebrated her birthday on May 12th, took to Twitter to share warm ‘thank you’s’ to a few fan factions who sent her some lovely gifts in honor and support of their favorite soap star.

Herbst expressed: “Yesterday was such a beautiful day! THANK YOU for all your sweet Birthday messages! #Friz & #Liason showered me with the most gorgeous flowers, cakes & goodies. And #Friz donated $2500 to #SmileTrain.  I felt very loved. I’m so grateful for each & every one of you. …XO”

Of course, the Friz fans loved Liz with Franco (Roger Howarth) and the Liason fans are those who love Liz with Jason (Steve Burton).

Now with Roger Howarth returning to the show – in what is at this juncture still a mystery as who he will play – will Rebecca be paired with Roger in story again, or not this time?  Do you think Liz might end up romantically with Finn (Michael Easton), or is there still a chance that down the line Liz and Jason could get back together, or could Liz meet someone new? Only time will tell!

For now, Herbst was thankful for the money donated to the Smile Train charity and all the wonderful gifts and messages that came her way.

So, what did you think of Becky’s thank you message?  Who are you hoping Liz winds up with romantically in the future?  Share your thoughts in the comment section.

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General Hospital

GENERAL HOSPITAL Touches on Racial Profiling, Social Injustice and Bias In Key Scenes with Portia and Jordan

This week ABC’s General Hospital took the opportunity to write in to their scripts and story, the issue that has been so prevalent in our country now and for decades that of racial profiling, injustice, bias, gender equality and more rolled into scenes featuring: Brook Kerr (Portia), Briana Nicole Henry (Jordan), Sydney Mikala (Trina) and William Lipton (Cameron).

When Portia comes to the boxing gym for a workout and comes upon Jordan hitting the boxing bag hard over the the incident with Cameron in the hospital garage, it spurs a greater conversation.

Jordan tells Portia about the situation that arose with Cameron and a gun, and Portia says she heard about it.  Jordan knows if Cameron’s skin was a different color, she may not have been able to de-escalate the situation and talk her officers down, if she had not arrived on the scene in the nick of time.

This launches the two women into an important conversation on racial profiling, social injustice, white privilege and gender bias that they have found themselves dealing with in their professions (Portia is a doctor and Jordan the police commissioner) and their children’s lives.

Later in another scene, Trina reminds Cameron how they, along with Joss (Eden McCoy) were pulled over by a cop last summer when they were driving around the backroads.  She goes on to say when Cameron questioned why they were being stopped, it scared her.  She feels if Joss and Cam were not there, she would have likely been pulled out of the car and pinned to the ground by the cop.  Trina notes she put aside her fear and never said anything to them, because they would never understand.  Trina tells Cam he needs to realize how lucky he was the other night when nothing happened to him after his run in with police.

You can watch the conversation below in scenes with Briana Nicole Henry and Brooke Kerr.

Then let us know, did you like how GH wove this social message into the story?  Share your thoughts in the comment section.

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General Hospital

GH’s James Patrick Stuart in the Cast of Disney Channel’s Super-Villains Pilot ‘Amy From Amarillo’

Casting news was recently announced for the Disney Channel’s upcoming half-hour live-action comedy pilot with a working title of Amy From Amarillo.

According to Deadline, while the series has named actress Isabella Pappas in the title role of Amy, none other than General Hospital star James Patrick Stuart (Valentin Cassadine) is also noted to be a part of the cast.

In story, the project follows a family of super-villains who must go on into hiding in Amarillo, Texas when they fall afoul of the League of Villains and are about to be liquidated.  Production on the pilot is set to begin this month.

Those joining Stuart and Pappas in the cast include: Hilda Spellman, Patricia Belcher, Kayden Muller-Janssen, Malachi Barton, Reed Horstmann and Lucy Davis will plays Amy’s mom, Eva aka Spark, a feisty supervillain who shoots electrical current out of her hands.

Production on the pilot is set to begin this month.  Stuart will be continuing his role on GH as per usual.

Furthermore, James took to Twitter this morning to clarify for inquiry GH fans who were concerned about the status the project might cause for his role on the ABC daytime drama series: “I am currently working on a Disney Channel comedy pilot. We film 15 minutes from the GH stage so, should the show get picked up for series, and while it would create scheduling headaches for some very cool people, I have no plans to hang up Valentin’s dancing shoes any time soon.”

So, intrigued by this pilot and what role James will have within it? Share your thoughts via the comment section below.

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Y&R’s Joshua Morrow, Amelie Heinle, Mark Grossman, Hunter King and Melissa Ordway chat with Michael Fairman about being a part of and portraying the Newman Children as the show celebrates its 48th anniversary.Leave A Comment

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