Editor’s Note: The following is taken from a Master’ project I did on soaps and online activism (i.e., the Save Our Soaps Movement). The section this excerpt is taken from briefly covers the value of and import of soaps–why soap fans and non-soap fans alike should fight for them. Excerpted here, it also continues our overall, multi-part discussion of why soaps are important and should be saved. Previous posts in this vein can be found by going to the blog home page and scrolling down! –Your Editor-in-Chief, Akbi Khan
Why Soap Are Important and Should be Saved: Soaps Contribute to Economies Both Domestic and International
…Another value of soaps, as businesses that operate five days a week for often more than eight hours a day, is their economic worth as it relates to the places they are produced. Dr. Donald Boudreau, author of American Business and Daytime Dramas, lays out in his book the ways that soaps can provide great economic benefit to the places they are produced, those who engage in and support their production, and the overall United States economy (243). As proof of part of their economic benefit, Boudreau provides examples of the local people and businesses that would benefit were All My Children and One Life to Live to return to the city they called home for a combined 50-plus years, New York City.
Not only would the owners of studio spaces, for example, benefit from this return, but so too would dozens of ancillary businesses, such as florists and grocers, that crop up around soaps to support them where they live. Boudreau says a 4 billion dollar boon to the New York City (176) could ultimately materialize if All My Children and One Life To Live, not to mention Guiding Light, Another World, and As The World Turns returned there.
Boudreau’s book also outlines some of the shady business dealings and underhanded behaviors—unqualified people rising to positions at networks through nepotism or a rewarding of a favor done earlier to the person who promoted him or her. Such practices have contributed to the sorry state of soap cancellation today (155). When unqualified or sub-par people are at positions of power at a network or behind the scenes at a soap, no wonder quality suffers and ratings drop.
Similarly, in “Disney War,” author James B. Stewart provides an at times chilling account of the megalomania and avarice that have characterized various Disney executives over the past few decades, particularly Michael Eisner. Disney owns ABC, the erstwhile but soon-to-be home of All My Children and One Life to Live. Eisner groomed and mentored Bob Iger, the man who succeeded him to the throne of Disney and oversaw the cancelation of All My Children and One Life to Live. Happily for soap fans, Iger announced his intent to resign in 2015, but this announcement came after the cancelation of the above soaps and the callous, misled advancement of the demise of the soap genre that it was.
By Akbi Khan
Edited by Akbi Khan