Y&R's Kristoff St. John, "There Are No Black Writers, There Are No Black Producers or Directors"





The Young and the Restless star Kristoff St. John (Neil) and his precious 6-year-old daughter Lola visited Buzz Worthy Radio where St. John got real about the state of the Winters family and other Y&R issues.  According to St. John, the lack of good storytelling for the Winters on Y&R isn't so much about what we see on our screens, but what is happening behind the scenes.

"There are no black writers. There are no black producers or directors."

PREACH! It is a sin and a shame that a soap opera that owes so much of its popularity to its black audience doesn't have any black people working behind the scenes. We can get a brother and sistah in the White House, but we can't get one on the Y&R staff?

St. John also admitted he enjoyed Lynn Marie Latham's tenure at the soap because the Winters clan were better utilized (This portion translated by the awesome Roger Newcomb at We Love Soaps.)

I really enjoyed the Lynn Marie Latham year and a half that she was there. Never did I work more. We were starting to get back to the roots of my character and my family. One thing that's mising in the Winter's family is the clan itself, and black culture. Lynn and I talked about that for quite some time. Let's put some church into it, some God, not too much, we don't want to ram it down anyone's throat, but you want to get something there. We need to be on par with the Newmans and Abbotts.

As much as it pains me to give LML any credit, the Winters were front and center during her run, that can't be denied. Although I don't know if having Dru (Victoria Rowell) in a straitjacket was much better than what we have going on now, but at least the Winters storyline was watchable.  As much as I have loved seeing the Newmans, Chancellors and Abbotts restored under Auntie R Ri's direction, Y&R gets a big fatty F minus for it's lack of a proper story for the black characters and for not promoting diversity behind the scenes. 

 

Comments

Member since:
23 December 2008
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1 year 8 weeks

I think the problem is that there are NO WRITERS on the Show--period! You have Faux Bell, Ho-Again Sheffer and Producer Paul The Third Reich,, none of whom are talented and erroneously think viewers like to be tortured rather than entertained! HOWEVER, the lack of minorities behind the Scenes is painfully evident by the muck we see on the Screen; The Gutting of Lily and tormenting of of LANE and the Winters to appease the diversity-challenged hacks, half of whom are gay or lesbian themselves (one would THINK that would make them more acceptable of minorities--I guess not!)

Josie and her Team must know that CBS' Diversity Iniative is a joke, and it is apparent to all and sundry. Kristoff did't have to say anything--viewers are not stupid!

Member since:
8 May 2008
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Sing it again, Kristoff. That why I am still angry about the lack of diversity with in front and behind the scenes and there is no mention to change it. I don't see no getting no good black actors to play the roles or black writers and there are good black writers that would love to work on Y&R or any other soap. They say the industry has change, but it still is racism and sexism and no will ever change until the soaps are cancel and then they will have to acknowledge maybe if they have diversity, the shows would of have a fighting chance to be on air.

StarGyal's picture
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7 August 2009
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This was a very candid interivew by KSJ, he spoke alot of truth, but I sincerely hope he has a job when he returns from his 6 week absence. I dont really think that Neil needs to be paired with a woman of colour; Neil and Phyllis would make an interesting pairing.

troymcclure's picture
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25 December 2008
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I liked what he had to say about the storylines in general on Y&R. He pretty much said that the current storylines are all bunch of crock. Preach it KSJ.

Member since:
22 January 2008
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3 hours 22 min

Thank you JESUS, he dissed that doggone ICE CREAM bull ISH on Generations! Why we gotta run an ice cream business? Why no Ebonytype magazine company or cosmetics firm?

Member since:
8 May 2008
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They not giving him s/l on the show anyway, so I don't blame him for speaking out about the lack of diversity in front and behind the scenes.

J Bernard Jones's picture
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9 September 2008
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3 hours 24 min

Thank you JESUS, he dissed that doggone ICE CREAM bull ISH on Generations! Why we gotta run an ice cream business? Why no Ebonytype magazine company or cosmetics firm?

Because there was no gangster rap music label or chicken & waffles restaurant chain to rip off. Marshall's Watermelon Soda would have been even worse.

Visan's picture
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13 December 2008
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Now, maybe, the Y&R folks will hire a more colorful behind-the-scenes staff, as in writers, to really beef up the Winters' storylines, and integrate that family with the other GC folks!

Smitty's picture
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30 March 2009
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I just finished listening to the Buzzworthyradio interview and WOW it's very eye opening. I agree the Winters were front and center during LML's tenure but having Dru go crazy wasn't the best storyline for them in my opinion.

I also agree with the F for MAB and Co. for the Winters clan. They have become so dimished on the show and it's embarassing. I hope MAB and Co. get it together.

KSJ also mentioned Nia Peoples and Eva Marcielle and from what he says they didn't get along at all. I say if you are a fan of Y&R and the Winters family then this interview is a must listen to.

Member since:
15 May 2008
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7 hours 25 min

Kristoff speaks the truth!!! As much as I hated the LML years she did utilize the Winters family although I could've done without Dru acting a plumb damn fool.

Member since:
22 January 2008
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3 hours 22 min

I am officially a Kristoff fan..it only took 20 years!

Member since:
11 April 2009
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2 weeks 5 days

Kristoff is great. Given a choice between Nia Peeples and Eva Marcille, I would have chose Nia Peeples HANDS DOWN!!

I miss Nia Peeples. The show kept her down. She was on fire when they finally gave her good material. She ripped up the room when she released her justifiable fury.

Sadly, I don't think TIIC at Y&R will listen to Kristof. They obviously don't have much respect for him or Bryton even though the both won Emmys in recent years.

I might not have liked Dru being crazy jealous but how different was her behavior than that of Phyllis'?

DanMan869's picture
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15 December 2008
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One comment made above that I believe is ridiculous is "the tormenting of LANE" (Lily and Cane). Hello, it's s SOAP OPERA! The couples ARE and SHOULD be put through the ringer--problems are grist for the mill. If they were all hearts and flowers and happiness every day, who wants to see that? Without the obstacles to overcome, what's to cry for? To root for? To be upset about?

That said, I think the Winters clan is being underused and poorly written. I wish they could get Victoria Rowell to come back. I'd be interested in seeing a triangle with Neil/Dru/Tyra--you know Neil and Dru would get back together, but what if Tyra stuck around to cause problems? Or what if Neil still felt himself attracted to Tyra despite loving Dru? The Winters family is without a matriarch (Drucilla) and I think that leaves them adrift.

Member since:
11 April 2009
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Brittany,

I really disagree with your attempt to pit gays and lesbians on the writing staff with people of color. Have you looked at how BADLY Y&R has handled its gay characters? They're all terrible characters who will never win any GLAAD media awards:

Adam: Stereotypical depraved bisexual

Rafe: Underdeveloped, poorly used character strictly there to advance other characters' stories.

Phillip: Deadbeat dad. Insensitive dolt.

Smitty's picture
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30 March 2009
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I might not have liked Dru being crazy jealous but how different was her behavior than that of Phyllis'?

***

josstheguy I'm not sure how long you have watched Y&R but Dru going crazy was VERY out of character. As far as Phyliss, she came on to the show being a crazy obsessed fan of Danny Romalotti who would scheme to get what she wanted. She was very jealous of Christine aka Criket. It's Phyliss nature to be jealous. It's in the roots of the character. Drucilla's craziness was out of character and didn't make sense.

Member since:
2 June 2009
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2 years 20 weeks

I think President and Mrs. Obama show more of the Black culture than Soaps and Justice Sotomayor is more Latin than many of the Soap characters.

The Soap opera fans are more and more non-white yet the Soaps do not write for them.

And why do 20 year olds and teens dress like 50 year olds in many of the Soaps?

I also think that Soap writers and producers need to visit middle America... middle America is much more Liberal and tolerant than the Soaps.

To me it seems that soaps are writing for my 81 year old Daddy and leaving the views and wishes of Women 18 to 35 behind.

Member since:
11 April 2009
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Smitty,

I said that I didn't like Dru acting crazy. Right?

Coffee_Junkie's picture
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30 March 2009
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Brittany, what in the hell is WRONG with you? Every time you open that hole in your face, you sound demented. Get some meds for pete's sake.

Member since:
11 April 2009
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2 weeks 5 days

Rockiesoul,

Many soap producers, network execs, and advertisers have a stereotypical view of people of color as being poor and not a desired demographic. Gross but true. It's the same reason why the same idiots discount older viewers.

Smitty's picture
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30 March 2009
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josstheguy yes u did but I was just answering your question. I was just pointing out how it was different.

Member since:
2 June 2009
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2 years 20 weeks

A night time Soap like Grey's Anatomy...
Black creator / writer / producer and a multi-cultural cast... a a fan base of Women 18 to 35 ... I think a lot of White folks watch Grey's Anatomy too...

Grey's is on the air and making money and soaps are trying to ward of extinction.

Maybe those network execs. need to stop giving their buddies money and make money for the network!

arielade's picture
Member since:
2 February 2009
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I'm glad KSJ spoke his mind, and I hope her receives no backlash for this because he's absolutely right.

Y&R should hire Jamey. Wait, never mind, GH needs him much more.

Member since:
11 April 2009
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Rockiesoul,

Grey's Anatomy has a mixed cast but the black cast no longer has romantic relationships. What made Grey's novel was its novel casting of a powerful, sexual black male lead in Isaiah Washington and his character Dr. Burke. There hasn't been a similar character on Grey's or any other show since Washington left.

Washington has spent his time in a Siberia-like exile, and it's time to bring him back.

Member since:
11 April 2009
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2 weeks 5 days

David, David, David? Where are you? This is your time to preach it!

Member since:
17 November 2008
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28 min 18 sec

Kristoff had better tread carefully. If he is too outspoken he may find himself right out of a job. I am glad he spoke up. But I still say that his acting leaves a lot to be desired. He did do a good job when he was praying to Drucilla during the hospital scene. He needs to be given better material by the writing team.

Member since:
11 April 2009
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2 weeks 5 days

Reggyreg,

Did you listen to the broadcast? Nothing that St. John said was awful. He spoke the truth.

Also, given the little screen time St. John gets now, why should Y&R fire him? St. John explained that he won't be working for close to six to seven weeks.

Sad

NdaKnow's picture
Member since:
7 March 2009
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4 years 17 weeks

SHUT UP!!!!!!!!!

LEAVE IF YOU ARE NOT HAPPY!!!!!!!!!!!

JUST LEAVE!!!!!!!!!

Thankulord13's picture
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27 June 2009
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Ndaknow,

You shut up! Last I check this is America and Kristoff has every right to speak his mind. Now if your trifling butt don't like it, don't read it. Now move on.

As for his comment, this is what Victoria Rowell had been saying for a while. In this day and age there needs to be more diversity behind the sceens on these shows. The truth hurts and some people don't like the truth and that fool I just commented to is one of those people.

Member since:
31 March 2008
Last activity:
2 weeks 1 day

I hate to say it, but here it goes...

Black is beautiful....and
Tan is grand....and
(insert others...brown you can stick around, yellow is mellow)...but

BLACK is Beautiful...
TAN is Grand...BUT
WHITE is the Color of the BIG BOSS MAN...
Now, know your place and stay in step.

Point is: Like it or not, this is how things was in the past...is today...and forever will be. It's never going to change. At most they would hire: one director, one writer, one producer. They would not be captains of the ship and would have to go along with everyone else. It won't make a difference people.

People of color will always be limited in opportunities provided in this genre and practically everything else. My personal feelings is that is neither right or wrong. You just have to deal with it and stop whining.

Oh and there's one more thing:
Straights for Hate and
Gays are Slayed.

Look at the uproar around these gay storylines. We/(Me: Male, Black, Gay) are second-class in this world. Some say things have improved. In my 53 years, I say its the same old crap.

Watching these soaps...reading boards where people make off-color comments (like some will say of my post) about lack of diversity or about not wanting to see two people of the same sex kissing or more on their screens, shows the type of world in which we live. There will never be peace or equality. There will never be total happiness and harmony. It is only a fantasy to think otherwise.

season1217's picture
Member since:
23 July 2008
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31 weeks 7 hours

The same freedom of speech that gives Kristoff the right to express his opinion is the same one that affords NdaKnow the right to tell him to shut up and Thankulord13 to tell NdaKnow to shut up. America's a funny place.