On March 7, 2001, The Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) announced an academic research project about the coming-out storyline of All My Children's Bianca. Soap Central is proud to be a part of this study by providing to GLAAD information and data collected in polls and surveys on the Soap Central web site.
GLAAD's Research and Analysis department initiated this project to explore a more comprehensive understanding of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) representations in current entertainment television. Of most importance is the fact that Bianca is the first lesbian character (of centrality) to "come out" on daytime television. Being that Bianca is also the daughter of one of the central and most infamous/explicitly heterosexual characters on All My Children, Erica Kane, there are a number of questions raised by this storyline. Among them are: How will AMC's writers deal with homosexuality as an ongoing storyline? Will Bianca's character development occur in such a way so as to provide viewers with a fair representation of issues faced by a gay/lesbian adolescent? How will the producers, writers, and publicists develop the storyline in relation to same-sex relationships?
Lee Harrington, a sociologist at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, will conduct the study. Professor Harrington has coauthored a book, "Soap Fans," and has written articles and book chapters that deal with youth culture, popular culture, and television. GLAAD has commissioned Harrington to study fan reactions to the storyline, and the ways in which the storyline is developed over the next six months.
Soap Central will share information collected through surveys and polls on its web site with Harrington. Additionally, Soap Central founder, Dan Kroll, will offer an "expert" analysis and opinion as to how fans are reacting to the Bianca storyline. Kroll's experience with Internet soap fans spans more than six years through his work on Soap Central, one of the Internet's very first all-encompassing soap opera web sites. Soap Central will also place a form on its web site allowing its visitors to share their thoughts and opinions of the Bianca storyline for the GLAAD study.
The Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) is dedicated to promoting and ensuring fair, accurate and inclusive representation of individuals and events in all media as a means of eliminating homophobia and discrimination based on gender identity and sexual orientation.