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Counterpunch

That '90210' Piece--It's Rubbish

March 28, 1994|CHARLES ROSIN | Charles Rosin is the executive producer of "Beverly Hills, 90210." and

The commentary "On the Dumping of a '90210' Role Model" (Calendar, March 15) is so filled with inaccuracies that it is hard to know where to begin--unless it is with the primary question of why the L.A. Times Calendar section would publish such a mean-spirited broadside by some free-lance writer in Canada without checking the facts.

Judy Sklar Rasminsky claims that we ("the people who make their ratings and their money off of teen-agers") have irresponsibly chosen to send a negative message to our daughters by our treatment of the real-life pregnancy of one of our stars, Gabrielle Carteris, in the plotting of her character, Andrea.

The commentary states that by having Andrea--a bright, ambitious premed student--meet a guy, have a baby, get married and "drop out of school," we are teaching the younger female members of our audience that "they must still seek their identities vicariously, through their men (and that) their place is still in the kitchen."

Nothing could be further from the truth. Andrea has not dropped out of school, and we have no plans to turn her into a "cartoon superwoman." Putting aside the question of whether we will be able to produce thought-provoking episodes dramatizing the struggles and emotional conflicts of a young couple going through school while trying to raise a baby, I wish our critics would wait to see what our future story lines are before they publish articles condemning (and misrepresenting) them.

It is interesting that Rasminsky doesn't object to Andrea's choice regarding abortion, when it is conceivable that this particular, politically active character would have opted for an abortion at this stage in her life.

But that's not even an option Rasminsky recommends--rather than deal with the issue, she would rather see the character sent abroad or to Yale, since it was so "apparent" to her that with Gabrielle Carteris (the actress) clearly showing, "the writers would have to find a way to remove her for a while." What Rasminsky doesn't take into account is that by writing the actress out of the show for a season, we would be writing the character out too . . . and if that's not dumping a role model, I don't know what is.

Nor did we wish to dump our actress. Gabrielle and her wonderful husband, Charles Isaacs, have been waiting to start their lives as parents for a while now. A valued and respected member of our cast, Gabrielle came to us with a request to have a baby and keep working, which we honored. How about that for a story to tell your daughters? That they can strive to work hard, become professionals and gain the trust and affection of their colleagues and employers, who will stand behind them when they dare to want to "have it all."

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