The publicist who caused a Twitter firestorm as a result of her comments about being happy over the ending of soaps, in favor of The Chew, has not only apologized for her tweet, but resigned from her position at Live With Regis and Kelly. Here's the statement Brittany Forgione sent to me and Daytime Confidential's Senior Editor Jillian Bowe, who broke the story, earlier this evening:
I take full responsibility for the situation. I wrote that tweet on my personal Twitter account, but it was never for a second meant to be hurtful towards anyone. I grew up watching “All My Children” with my mother and though I was sad to see it go, I was excited for the new shows getting a chance to shine. My words were said so quickly and without thought that it ended up creating something I would have never wished for. Seeing those awful reactions and threats online was so shocking and scary for me, and I was so concerned about the reputation of our show, that I was afraid to admit what I had done so I lied to my manager. I’ve held high regard for ABC for years, as they know, and it is only fair to the company and myself that I resign from my freelance PR position.
This soap opera lover for one accepts Forgione's apology. We all make mistakes, and it took guts for her to own up to what she initially tweeted in haste. People definitely have a right to express their opinions on Twitter, but it was very shortsighted not to anticipate a negative reaction when making a comment about being happy that a beloved genre, which has come into viewers homes for generations, is in turmoil.
Soap operas like All My Children, One Life to Live, As The World Turns, Guiding Light and the rest have been more than just TV shows.They have provided their viewers with extended families and communities to visit daily, year-after-year, decade-after-decade. Not to mention, they've served as incomparable training grounds for such Hollywood luminaries as Morgan Freeman,Tommy Lee Jones, Susan Sarandon, Robin Wright, Kelly Ripa, Josh Duhamel and hundreds more. Additionally, they've inspired such visionaries as Tim Burton and Johnny Depp, currently working on bringing an adaptation of the ABC Daytime soap Dark Shadows to the big screen; comedienne Carol Burnett and Oscar-nominated director Lee Daniels.
Soap fans have grown up, gotten married, borne children (many named after fave soap characters!), gotten divorced, remarried, come out of the closet, buried loved ones, etc. all while watching their daily "stories." People, especially those working in the entertainment industry, need to be more mindful of how raw soap fans' nerves are right now. Imagine if someone was systematically destroying professional football, basketball or baseball. Watching our soap operas have been just as much a national passtime as anything requiring wearing a cup or that would get you on a box of Wheaties. Godspeed, Ms. Forgione.