Soapside: Advocate's Guide to Daytime

Forbes March talks about playing gay, Otalia fans outraged, update on One Life to Live 's Patricia Maurceri's firing over gay plot point, Phillip Chancellor III big reveal, and Erica Kane goes to Africa.

BY Michael Fairman

July 02 2009 12:00 AM ET

YANI GELLMAN MICHAEL MUHNEY X390 (FAIR USE GETTY) | ADVOCATE.COM

Otalia Watch: Next Week's Preview

Olivia and Doris search for Natalia. Since Natalia is hiding out at a retreat (she went there at the urging of Father Ray), Olivia confronts a mother superior, but the woman won't break confidentiality. Olivia demands that the woman let her inside and cries out Natalia's name and begs her to come out.

Another one bites the dust….

It seems like the launching of gay stories on soaps is weeding out the talent, and not the fans and the viewers! First, Y&R 's Chris Engen (ex-Adam) walked off the set for his reported refusal to do a same-sex kissing scene, and over last weekend came this disturbing story from Daytime Confidential . Confirmed this week by both ABC and One Life to Live, the controversy centers around longtime recurring cast member Patricia Mauceri's (Carlotta) refusal to play a small story point that is not slated to air till August. In it, Carlotta is portrayed as a gay-friendly Latina mother, something the actress reportedly struggled with based on her religious beliefs, and thus she wanted the powers that be to change the script.

In a brand new expose out today by Michael Logan of TV Guide titled: "The Gays of Summer" , Logan spills the beans to what I already knew had gone down between Mauceri and One Life , EP Frank Valentini...."Patricia Mauceri was replaced as matriarch Carlotta Vega after the veteran actress took issue with comedic scenes in which her character finds a book, How Tell Your Parents That You're Gay , and thinks it belongs to her son, Christian. (The book actually belongs to his roommate Fish). The script called for Carlotta to be understanding and supportive of her son's sexuality. Mauceri, who is said to have had religious objections to the story twist, went to OLTL exec producer Frank Valentini and told him she wouldn't perform it as written and that she had reworked a significant amount of the dialogue. Valentini refused to accept Mauceri's changes and quickly replaced her with actress Saundra Santiago."

And replaced she was ... by Saundra Santiago, the "go-to" Latina actress who was last seen on One Life in the role of Isobella Santi. Santiago is also remembered by soap fans as mob boss Carmen Santos on Guiding Light. Advocate.com approached Santiago for an interview on her emergency recast, but her management declined. Santiago reported to the set of One Life on June 26 to play Carlotta. No word yet whether the show plans to keep Carlotta on the canvas, or if Santiago is just a temp. Stay tuned.

Fish and Tell

Coming up on One Life to Live, we will get to see more of Officer Fish's internal struggle come to light. While out on a date with the lovely Layla (they are celebrating Layla's new job as Commissioner Bo Buchanan's administrative assistant), a handsome waiter flirts with Fish, which Layla notices. Later Fish and Layla's roomie, Cristian, press Kyle on his claim that Fish is just using Layla. Also ... look for gay actor Nicholas Rodriguez (best known as Broadway's Tarzan) to debut as Nick, a spoiler in the burgeoning Fish-and-Kyle romance. His first appearance airs August 14.

Rafe and Adam sitting in a tree ... K-I-S-S-I-N-G?

So the big day arrived last week, when soap newcomer Michael Muhney stepped into the shoes of Adam Newman, the role made infamous by Chris Engen. Muhney's first order of acting business: seducing the seemingly gullible Rafe Torres (Yani Gellman) in order to keep him from stumbling upon a box filled with his female wig and a purple sari (worn by Adam in order to "gaslight" Ashley into assuming she saw Victor's dead wife, Sabrina).

Later we see the men (already clothed) gathering themselves together after having offscreen sex. The way Y&R decided to handle this already delicate and controversial plot point of a "straight" man seducing an openly gay character, I thought was good, because this raises a lot of moral issues for some, and I don't want the story killed. There are more machinations by Adam regarding Rafe to come. Wouldn't it be great if Rafe is setting Adam up instead?

Tags: Television

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