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 01 2009 11:00 PM ET

CAMERON MATHISON X390 (GETTY) | ADVOCATE.COM

Y&R 's Eileen Davidson, who has played Ashley -- the victim of Adam's horrific gas-lighting techniques -- off and on for several years, spoke to me about Chris Engen's departure, hoping to shed some light to the LGBT community on the 'homophobe' claim that some say precipitated his exit.

"From my experience Chris was never unprofessional. He did seem to have problems with the storyline, and I would see him talking to producers at the end of a tape day. When I found out he was leaving I did talk to him. I said, 'From personal experience I have left shows because I was unhappy (but not in the middle of the contract). I can't judge you for wanting to go, but speaking for myself as a heroine on the show, I would give my eye-teeth to have your storyline. It's such a fabulous character.' Chris did not see it that way, and that's a very personal thing. It was not a good fit between the actor and what happened with his character. I don't believe Chris is a homophobe. I think it's unfair to say that of him. He was having problems with the character long before this homosexual thing came up. I have been here with him every step of the way long before that story point ever came up. I think it was a series of events with Adam killing Ashley's baby that got to him much more than the gay thing. In fact, he had a conversation with Eric Braeden (Victor) two months before, talking about how unhappy he was. I believe Chris was having a hard time wrapping his head around where the character was coming from and where it was going. Also, when he signed on to the show, he did not know he was playing a bad guy. It happened. Who knows? Maybe Chris would have never read for the role if it was playing a bad guy. If you stay somewhere you are not happy, it can make you sick.

Now Eileen's on-screen tormentor is Adam 2.0, played by newcomer Michael Muhney. The Y&R star tells me she checked in with him on his first day at work. "I asked him, How you doing? He said, You know, I am not the type of actor who gets frazzled by things. And I go, Thank God, you are not frazzled. A lot of actors like the instant gratification that daytime gives to you. I always have. Michael experienced that, and I am sure it was a total adrenaline rush for him. Michael is loving playing the part."

Thom Bierdz Reveal Day is Here!

Things go into full gay force next week on The Young and the Restless when gay actor Thom Bierdz -- as Phillip Chancellor III -- reemerges in Genoa City to confront his family ... and makes a shocking confession that will tear the Chancellor family apart! Look for July 7 to be a red-letter day for soap fans. Do not miss these pivotal episodes, which will explain where Phillip III has been for 20 years and why Cane has been posing as him.

Adonis 2009 Top Ten

In a shocker to some, Cameron Mathison (Ryan, All My Chldren ) was the first hunk voted out of the competition. Last week Daytime Emmy nominee for Outstanding Lead Actor Daniel Cosgrove (Bill, Guiding Light ) got the boot. That leaves your top 10. Vote today through July 7. Remember, only one vote per day. Without further adieu, here are your top 10 ( I feel like Ryan Seacrest): Brandon Beemer and Don Diamont ( B&B ), Steve Burton ( GH ), Shawn Christian and James Scott ( Days ), Van Hansis and Jake Silbermann ( ATWT ), Daniel Goddard ( Y&R ), and Mark Lawson and John-Paul Lavoisier ( OLTL ).

Speaking of John-Paul, in my recent interview with him, JP had this to say about a certain wardrobe choice that should garner him some extra votes in the Adonis competition! "I loved the show that aired recently where Rex and Stacy were at the country club and charging things, and they get arrested. After they get arrested and taken to Bo's police station, Rex is handcuffed wearing only his bathing suit in the police station and it's fantastic!" [ Laughs ]

Daytime Emmys Update: Vanessa Williams Hosts, Susan Lucci to Kenya, Pre-Show Announced!

The Daytime Emmys are slated for August 30 in Los Angeles at the Orpheum Theatre with the live telecast to be carried by the CW... with Vanessa Williams as host.

A special segment for the show announced this week will be titled Daytime Gives Back, which will feature three of soaps' biggest stars: All My Children 's Susan Lucci, and General Hospital 's Tony Geary and Kelly Monaco. They will travel to Kenya this month with Feed the Children , an international nonprofit relief organization that supports more than 100,000 children in Kenya's slums. The trio will document their journey with their own cameras as they aid in delivering food and other items to the needy, and their visits to local schools and a center for abandoned infants built by the organization will be filmed as well. Portions of their journey will be shown during the telecast.

In addition, AMC 's executive producer Julie Hanan Carruthers has decided to use this opportunity for her soap to incorporate a story line with Erica Kane in Africa, air dates yet to be determined. Erica Kane in Kenya? What will she wear?

Finally, the Daytime Emmys will have a red carpet pre-show airing an hour before the telecast. Given the hosting nods are The Insider 's Lara Spencer and Entertainment Tonight 's Kevin Frazier. Thank goodness our genre gets a pre-show! Can't wait.

Tags: television

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