According to today's New York Daily News, Senait Ashenafi has been fired from her role as Keesha Ward. Ashenafi originated the role of Keesha, appearing in Port Charles in 1994 along with her cousin Justus Ward (Joseph C. Phillips) and grandmother Mary Mae Ward (the late Rosalind Cash). The storyline of Keesha's young love with Jason Quartermaine (Steve Burton) captured the hearts of many.
Since Jason's accident, Keesha became a backburner character. Her romance with AJ was given barely enough screentime for the viewers to care about her. However, Senait continued to shine with the little material given to her. The confrontations between Keesha and Carly spawned many comparisons to the young Leslie Webber and Monica Quartermaine and their bitter feuds. Many had hoped that this was a relationship to be continued and explored throughout the next few years.
Message boards across the web have filled with vitriolic messages regarding the firing. Most GH fans agree -- whether they were fans of Keesha or not -- that Ashenafi was never really given the chance to shine, that the character of Keesha as a strong, mature modern woman, deserved air-time and a story that explored her complex characterization.
Here's what some of the fans have had to say:
GH has been taking heat about the way it underuses its black characters. Well here's the coolest strongest character on the show about to be gone, she happens to be black, the others (Dara, Justice) are written as fools... Keesha didn't make GH for me, but she made it that much more special.
I am disappointed and more important, angry that GH has decided to let Senait go. She is a beautiful and talented actress that has done wonders with whatever she has been given. Her scenes with Sarah Brown last fall were explosive and she has great chemistry with Billy Warlock. The sad fact of the matter is GH never seemed to know what to do with her, Senait has a lot of talent, but the fans rarely got a chance to see it. I sincerely hope this is not the end for the character of Keesha since GH is drawing heat for their lack of substantive storylines for the characters of color.
Click here for more fan reaction.