Not too long ago I blogged about the actor on The Young and the Restless, Chris Engel, who walked off of the set when he was told his character was going to have a same-sex romance storyline coming his way.

Now we have an even more ridiculous walk-off, this time on One Live to Live. Patricia Mauceri, who plays the mother of one of the principal male characters on the show, Cristian, refused to act in a storyline that portrays her character as accepting of homosexuality because she is Latina.

“OLTL” was taping scenes in late-June concerning roommates Cristian, Layla and Fish. (They'll air in September.) Cristian and Layla suspect that sweet cop Fish is gay, but aren't sure how to approach him about it. So they buy a book about how to tell if you're gay and plan to give it to him.

Cristian's mom, Carlotta, was supposed to find the book and assume Cristian is gay. Her reaction was scripted to be very accepting and even amused, citing his love of art and fondness for going shirtless as signs she should have recognized.

But Mauceri, who has played diner purveyor Carlotta Vega for 14 years, refused to play the story as written, saying a Latina mother would not be so accepting. Rather, Mauceri rewrote the scenes to make Carlotta confused and troubled, and submitted them to “OLTL” execs.

“That's not the story we're telling,” responded an exec.

And so the soap execs brought in another actress, Saundra Santiago (I remember her from Miami Vice), who didn't have a problem with the part.

I understand Mauceri's point that there is a problem with homophobia in segments of the religious, culturally conservative Latino community, but OLTL is not a documentary — soaps deal with real-life issues, but they also deal in evil twins, demonic possessions, rampant multiple personality disorder cases, baby swapping and all sorts of other BS all the time. The fact of the matter is that in this particular case, it would be refreshing to see some modeling out there — that not every Latino family is full of raging homophobes. 

Considering the sparse acting opportunities out there today, you'd think that Mauceri, who has been on the show for years, would just suck it up and play the storyline out and move on to the next plot. I'm not sure that the dwindling soap shops (Guiding Light's the next one to bite the dust), are going to look favorably upon Mauceri if she's going to walk regarding something this minor in the overall scheme of things.

Pam Spaulding

Pam Spaulding

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