Every week I get the privilege of hammering away on my keyboard and dispensing my own special brand of ranting and raving about B&B. For over 5 years I have amassed some of the best and most astute readers any columnist could have. As the events of the last week or so has quite literally turned my stomach, I have decided that my Scoops faithful should have more than their usual short time on the Soapbox and instead be given the floor so to speak. This storyline with Brooke's rape has garnered some of the most passionate and intense reactions I have ever seen since I started writing this column. Many of you very eloquently expressed your shock, disgust, and sadness for how this story has played out and why. Brad, if you or anyone in your production company reads me every week (probably not but nice to imagine), it's time you put your finger on the pulse of the viewers of this show once and for all….
Jean: 'I saw Brad at the Daytime Emmys sitting between his mother and sister and
I wondered if he might secretly hate that situation and take his frustration out
on the women of B&B. If anyone needs to be flogged it is Brad Bell!!. Did he
give any thought to the women that watched this that may have been attacked? '
Bev:' I have been fuming all weekend wanting to write Mr. Bell and give him a piece of my mind, but that's what he wants. He loves when we are outraged by his hideous storylines.
Anastasia:' I don't understand why the writers can't come up with a story that would show Brooke in a new light. Honestly, I feel like one minute the writers are building her strength and you look forward to the change and then the carpet is pulled right from under you because they revert right back to the victim roll.
RubyD: 'It is time this vile woman I held accountable for her wicked deeds.Is Stephanie's life so empty that although she got Brooke out of Ridge's life that is not enough?
Connie: 'Brad has sunk to an all-time low with this Brooke
rape storyline - just awful!'
Cyndi: 'I have read your columns for some time now & have not always been thrilled with your opinion of Brooke but you hit a home run with how the rest of us feel about the "rape" storyline -- BBell is going way too far!!! So on behalf of all Brooke fans -- THANK YOU!!!'
Giovanna: 'I wish she, Taylor, would tell Stephanie off and mean it. FGS, she is no longer married to Stephanie's son, yet the old witch goes over to her office to whine about Brooke.'
Leah: 'I agree with you, the rape scene with Brooke and Andy made me literally sick and I DID turn off the tv....if Brad continues to write these kinds of story lines...I for one will not be watching it anymore.'
Belinda: 'A woman of Brooke's means would never, never, NEVER find herself losing her children to a man that isn't even the father of one of them. The rape thing takes what has already gone too far and pushes it even further. I can't watch it any more.'
Linda: 'Thank you, Kristine for ripping this rape storyline apart. I am in tears...that's just how badly I feel after half watching the today's show. As a victim of rape in 1981, I could not look at Friday's show. I find myself looking at B&B less and less. All I can say is that this is not entertainment.'
Linda from NJ: 'I watched the rape and I cried and had to walk away. What the hell is wrong with Brad and his staff. My GOD this is daytime. I have and always will be a fan of KKL… Anyway the anger is there isn't it gf thanks to Bell the nutso.'
Rebecca: 'I feel like they don't really care what the viewers think and always take the storytelling road that is most titillating and cheap. The writers don't seem to understand what good writing is all about and unfortunately, have been able to hold viewers based on fast, cheap tricks.'
Julie: 'This is getting annoying to watch. Worse yet, the rape scene. No public service here, Brad. I always liked Stephanie. They have turned her into a complete maniac. Show is going down the tubes ! Brad, lighten up!'
Cindy: 'Steph is an obsessive, malicious, out of control monster. My hope is that she will be exposed for the low-down, manipulative, hateful woman she truly has become. I want to see her world come tumbling down and lose everything and everybody dear to her.'
Gladys: 'Hurry up and bring this rape to light. It's time to bring Stephanie to her knees. Any woman that could contribute to another woman being rape is as low as the rapist.'
Chris: 'To have her raped in her own home and not call 911 because she was afaid of losing her children was to much for me. I couldn't stand to watch. For the safety of her children is more than enough reason to call. I would think the writers would have her fight her attacker off, and for all the women watching the show at least MAKE THE CALL to the police.'
Angie: 'I get so sick of this sexist soap, I am almost done watching it. I hate almost every single storyline. What a waste of a great cast!!!
Valerie: 'I am not so sure that that was a good scene to put in the show, it was much too graphic and for other women who have been raped this scene may have been much to graphic and put all the feelings on the front burner again. not so good I don't think...'
Ruby F: 'Having known someone who was raped, the current story line is very real and needs to be done. Too many people think it is no big deal that women just ask for it. Yes, it is intense, but I believe it is getting the point across.'
Sue: 'If the entire Stephanie being buddies with the lady from Child Protective Services and managing to get Brookes kids away from her the rape deal did push me over the edge.'
Tracy: 'This storyline does not help real rape victims. This storyline is encouraging victims to remain silent when threatened. Just for once couldn't they have Brook screaming to everyone that she had been raped? This is a sad attempt to help raise the awareness for rape victims.'
Steve A.: 'I am a male fan of the B&B but I can't tell you how violated I feel watching this past week.(KKL's acting has been great) and the rape was horrific, but I almost feel dirtier watching Stephanie and her manipulations. Does she ever get her comeuppance?'
Marya: 'Please let someone give Stephanie her due. Kill her off for all I care. She is cold and heartless and allowed to get away with so much it is getting to be unbelievable.'
With so many emails, I tried my best to get to everyone's and present angles that did not exactly mirror another's (and so many people said the same thing…amazing that this story has done that for SO many readers). I have to say this…I originally thought the PSA's at the end of the shows would likely be of some benefit but the more I watched, the more evident it became that they were entirely hypocritical and laughable. Don't tar and feather me yet…hear me out…
This story has Brooke fearing that Andy the psycho rapist could possibly do something to keep her from getting her kids back (so ridiculous) and that has caused her to NOT call the police, NOT seek immediate medical attention so that there is DNA evidence to help prosecute him, and NOT to really do much of anything. However, her PSA implores victims of sexual assault to seek help immediately, etc. How can you portray one thing and yet advise another? Doesn't this send a mixed message to all victims of rape? Why would Brad have her suffering in silence? I still say he hates Brooke and has 'issues' with women in general because to portray this is STUPID and irresponsible. I have a 15 year old stepdaughter that I have helped to raise since she was 5 and when she saw it, she asked me the same thing. "I don't get it…if I were raped, I would think the first thing you do would be to tell someone, like the cops or your doctor…it would be so hard be how could you not?' Out of the mouths of babes, I say. She and many girls her age watch these and other shows and can easily take their cues from them (though we don't like them to sometimes) and this message is dangerous. Brad, wake up…your story is truly the worst you have ever put to the screen.
The Soap Box
All the best of the Soapbox is above but I want to thank everyone that emailed this week, sharing such heart wrenching personal stories and relating them to this mess on B&B. It could not have been easy and I appreciate it. I have never suffered a sexual assault (close but I got myself out of there in time) so I cannot say I understand but as the stepmom to a wonderful 15 year old daughter, it is something that I worry about and pray she never has to face. Brad should have handled this story better, sent a better message, and made Stephanie pay for her complicity in it. I hope she pays for this but as we have all seen, Brad likes to make sure there are plenty of weak and dependent women gracing our screen everyday. It's a real shame. And sometimes impossible to watch.
I'll be back next week in rare form and ready to slice and dice as usual!
Have a great week!!!