Frank Valentini Fired Genie Francis. Bad Idea, Dude

General Hospital’s Executive Producer Frank Valentini has chosen to fire beloved soap star Genie Francis on the anniversary of the Women’s March, in the midst of the #MeToo movement, and on the heels of the Michelle Williams/Marky Mark equal pay scandal. How out of touch can one male television executive be? Has he not noticed that women are seething with outrage and desperate for an outlet that will not land them in jail? Perhaps I should thank General Hospital for stepping in and saving me from a nickel in Pentonville. Settle in, Mr. Valentini, while I point my rage in ABC’s direction.

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Emmy Award Winner, Genie Francis

Like everything else these days, I can’t believe this is happening. Must I explain to a network executive the value of Genie Francis to General Hospital? Even my friend Tanya, who is reading this post and irritated that it is about a show she does not watch, knows who Genie Francis is. As one half of original super couple Luke and Laura, Francis put General Hospital on the pop culture map during the early years of the Reagan administration when the president wanted to tear down walls and not build them.

Francis embodies a character who has shed her identity as “Luke’s wife” and built a career for herself as a public servant and Port Charles guardian. And, it has to be said, her current husband, Kevin Collins, never raped her on the disco floor. Francis’s Laura has found her voice and every time she uses it to blast her nemesis Valentini Valentin the audience cheers. Her performances radiate strength, confidence, and resilience –the very qualities women need to personify at this moment.

Three days ago, I naively believed GH was launching an election storyline through which audiences could process some unresolved feelings about recent history. We could watch a female community organizer campaign against a male millionaire who didn’t have sex with a porn star and then create a shell company to buy her silence. “Laura Collins versus Ned Quartermaine for Mayor” felt like a timely way to acknowledge politics and recognize that GH’s predominantly female audience might enjoy a cathartic victory for one of their own.

Instead, the storyline took an abrupt retrograde turn, “Female Candidate Drops Out of Race to Nurse Sick Grandson.” Laura’s husband endorsed her decision with this vomit-inducing platitude, “If you put your ambition, even your ambition to do good, ahead of family you wouldn’t be the woman I love.” So much for feminism. Here’s a news flash, women can be ambitious and love their families at the same time. In New Zealand they can even lead countries while gestating.

ABC has a long and sexist history of disrespecting Genie Francis’s talent and power. Let me be clear. This moment, this estrogen-drenched moment in our country, is the wrong time to sideline a queen. Do not take Laura’s compassion and moral leadership from us, Mr. Valentini, when we need it the most. Show your audience a little respect and pay Ms. Francis whatever she’s asking. Even then, ABC still won’t be approaching what she’s worth to General Hospital’s success.

 

26 Comments »

    • It’s a crazy decision. Feels very off too me since Laura’s storyline has been complex and interesting lately. I can’t imagine what happened off screen to prompt such a bad move on ABC’s part.

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  1. Agree about the loss, agree about the bad decision, but disagree about the strike against feminism. As a woman of the 70’s who fought for equal rights for women, I also have a firm belief that as women we put family above all else … and we should. So should men. While I believe moving Genie to recurring status is an incredibly bad idea, the storyline itself to move her there is plausible and Kevin’s reaction should not invoke vomit, but rather applause for standing by the decision of his wife to take care of her beloved grandson as opposed to becoming a politician. In real life there would always be another chance for her to run for office if she is still so inclined, but your children are your children and presumably she is all Spencer has. Who else but Laura to go to him?

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  2. Was there a contract dispute over pay or did he just dump her because she was making too much money? Or did he just dump her out of stupidity? In any case, it’s a bad move, and I think she deserves better treatment.

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  3. I’m not understanding what the heck you doing you brought back Faison he’s supposed to be dead Robert supposed to have killed him so how are you all fixing that then you want to get rid of Laura what the hell you losing me again I hope you plan on bringing back Luke and Robert since you brought this other full-back who’s supposed to be dead what the hell

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  4. This is an ABSOLUTE OUTRAGE FIRING GENE FRANCIS.. Omg!! I can’t even believe it. She is an icon who put GH. On a huge nap for Soap Industry. What an idiot you are Valentini.. I am so disappointed in you!!

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  5. I a am very disappointed in the firing of Genie Francis. She represents the way women present themselves in today’s world. Women running for office. I love it and Valentini you had to spoil it. It was a good storyline. Genie Francis has real talent and beauty. It was the same with Rebecca Budig. She and Finn were superb together and you fired her. I here Nathan is going too. You get interested in a good story line and boom they are gone. Mr Valenit you are going to lose a lot of fans, and leave an audience disappointed.

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  6. REALLY!
    ARE YOU KIDDING ME?!
    BIG BIG MISTAKE!
    I’ve been watching GH since it started- yup way back then.
    Genie deserves a spot on the show.
    Don’t bring in a bunch of losers and pay them money that should be going to pay the most coveted actors.

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  7. How out of touch can one male television executive be? Has he not noticed that women are seething with outrage and desperate for an outlet that will not land them in jail? Perhaps I should thank General Hospital for stepping in and saving me from a nickel in Pentonville. Settle in, Mr. Valentini, while I point my rage in ABC’s direction.

    oh i’m sure he does,the big question is, why doesn’t he care…that’s the big thing…why don’t any of them care…and that’s why it’s been able to go on for so long, because the men keep on getting away with that stuff, and they just don’t care……so until one of them steps up and says, i’m sorry i mean i’m really sorry then we’re going to keep on being stuck in this rut

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  8. Three days ago, I naively believed GH was launching an election storyline through which audiences could process some unresolved feelings about recent history. We could watch a female community organizer campaign against a male millionaire who didn’t have sex with a porn star and then create a shell company to buy her silence. “Laura Collins versus Ned Quartermaine for Mayor” felt like a timely way to acknowledge politics and recognize that GH’s predominantly female audience might enjoy a cathartic victory for one of their own.

    and do yoyu know how true to life this all is, unlike people being brainwashed and all that other kind of stuff that they do..\\

    name an north american city and i’m sure that something just like this is going on with it….

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  9. . In New Zealand they can even lead countries while gestating.

    and you have to i’m sorry ask yourself why is america still like this, and all that

    and you mean to tell me that spencer doesn’t have servents that can tend to his needs……and all that…..

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  10. ABC has a long and sexist history of disrespecting Genie Francis’s talent and power. Let me be clear. This moment, this estrogen-drenched moment in our country, is the wrong time to sideline a queen. Do not take Laura’s compassion and moral leadership from us, Mr. Valentini, when we need it the most. Show your audience a little respect and pay Ms. Francis whatever she’s asking. Even then, ABC still won’t be approaching what she’s worth to General Hospital’s success.

    how well said in the end….

    wasn’t he the same guy on one life that nearly fired someone for being overweight…i don’t remember the actress’s name, but she played marcie…..

    didn’t they fire someone, just shortly after they announced that she was pregnant….

    and yet all the while over at cbs, in a matter of a few years, three actresses got pregnant, about 6 times, between them…..so yes, i’d say that abc has a bad track record……

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  11. Setting aside the equal rights issues this stupid move has raised, it is shockingly bad story telling. The election, combined with the entire “redevelopment” plotline that involves half the cast, is carefully developed over several weeks and then suddenly jettisoned with one phone call. Why?

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  12. I’m really upset she was fired I’m really sad this sucks…. I hate the fact they bring back great characters and than to just fire theme is ridiculous! It’s like they try to sabotage general hospital

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  13. I hate gh right now the latest bs is Anna.had a.son with fasion and not with the love of her life Duke that is so sick I am about to throw up excuses me.

    Like

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