Kristoff St. John
Daytime television has come a long way from the time when soap operas solely revolved around the lives of Midwestern WASPs. Thanks in large part to Agnes Nixon, and the racially and socially diverse landscapes she brought to the artform with her daytime dramas One Life to Live and All My Children, people of color began to carve out a niche on daytime in the late 60's and early 70's. Nixon was also responsible for creating signature roles for women like Robin Strasser and Suan Lucci, both of whom have been quoted as saying they had been told their look was too "ethnic" for television early in their careers.
We just found out that The Young and the Restless actress Nia Peeples apparently put a few peeps at the CBS soap on blast during her interview with Brandon's Buzz.
Now we haven't heard the interview ourselves yet—can't wait to get home and listen!—but according to a summary at Soap Opera Network, Peeples allegedly (Y'all know I'm a journalist so I have to say allegedly until I hear it for myself, no disrespect!) talked about how Y&R executive producer Maria Arena Bell allegedly tried to fire her when she took over the show and that the brass lied to her saying she would remain on recurring and her character Karen in Genoa City, then when Peeples, who was hired by Lynn Marie Latham, showed up to tape her last show the script read that Karen was moving to New York. According to Peeples, they were probably afraid she wouldn't show up to tape her last show! READ MORE
Ever since the return of Tonya Lee Williams as Dr. Olivia Barber Hastings Winters on The Young and the Restless was first announced, soap fans have been speculating about whether or not Liv's son, Nate could be far behind. Liv has mentioned Nate—the child she conceived with her deceased first husband Nathan and later raised with second husband Malcolm Winters (Shemar Moore)—several times since arriving back in Genoa City. According to the storyline, Lily(Christel Khalil)'s older cousin is away at medical school. I say its time Nate transferred to a university closer to Genoa City and I have the perfect person to play him– Robert Ri'chard.
Like Bryton McClure and Tatiyana Ali, Ri'chard grew up on our screens in such sitcoms as Cousin Skeeter and One on One, and would bring with him a built-in audience. In recent years he played Paris Hilton's love interest in the camptasically-bad horror flick House of Wax. READ MORE
America's Next Top Model diva-turned-Young and Restless star Eva Marcille has definitely come along way since she premiered as Tyra, the never-before-mentioned bio aunt of Devon (Bryton McClure), however Y&R's black storyline as a whole is the only weak link in an otherwise miraculous recovery for the CBS sudser.
Daytime's Answer to The Huxtables
What made Y&R's black characters so refreshing and popular for the better part of two decades was that they always seemed real. Before the Barber sisters and the Winters brothers arrived in the 90's, blacks on soaps were typically written as either saintly and heroic or dangerous and menacing. Characters like Drucilla (Victoria Rowell), Liv (Tonya Lee Williams), Neil (Kristoff St. John) and Malcolm (Shemar Moore) proved that (gasp!) black people came in all shapes, forms and yes, colors. READ MORE