General Hospital (GH) spoilers tease that Genie Francis will open up in tonight’s “The Story of Soaps,” which is a primetime documentary special that will air on ABC. The special, which is presented by ABC and People Magazine, takes a look at the history of soap operas in America and the widespread influence that they’ve had on the genre of television and our lives.
Genie will be interviewed in the documentary about the controversial storyline involving the rape of Genie’s character Laura Webber by Luke Spencer (Anthony Geary) back in the late 1970s. The storyline was controversial because Laura later fell in love with Luke and married him, and it was a storyline that was revisited in the show in later years.
In tonight’s special, Genie says, “It was such a big deal in the media, and it took the country by storm. I’ve had to justify it for so many years and I have to say, it feels good to sit here and say I won’t justify it. It’s awful. They shouldn’t have done it.”
Genie continues: “Gloria Monte [then GH executive producer] tried to deal with it by calling it rape-seduction. The term now would be date rape. The night of the rape, Luke’s last request was to dance with him, and the dance became very seductive. He took her down to the floor and that is the rape.”
So the story goes, Gloria Monte was informed that she had two weeks to bring the ratings up and save the show, or else ABC would cancel GH. As Abigail De Kosnik, author of “The Survival of Soap Opera,” told People, “In Luke and Laura, she [Gloria Monte] saw potential there to maybe make things happen that shouldn’t happen, and that was electric.”
De Kosnik continued: “Then the question became, ‘Why did Luke do that?’ And the answer that the show’s writers gave was that Luke did it for love. They became popular not despite the rape, but partly because of it.”
It will be interesting to hear what else Genie Francis has to say about the rape storyline during “The Story of Soaps,” tonight on ABC. The special documentary airs on Tuesday, May 19th at 9pm Eastern. Stay tuned to General Hospital and don’t forget to check CDL often for the latest GH spoilers, daily recaps, and news.
Watch #TheStoryOfSoaps you won’t be disappointed!!! RT @ABCNetwork: On tonight’s #TheStoryofSoaps at 9|8c on ABC, get an inside look at this dramatic and historic genre from your favorite stars who lived it! pic.twitter.com/X987Q7W4vm
— Finola Hughes (@finolahughes) May 19, 2020