Remove Bob Guza and Jill Farren Phelps sign now

We the undersigned submit the following OPEN LETTER TO THE EXECUTIVES OF ABC DAYTIME TELEVISION as our DEMAND that Mr. Bob Guza Jr. and Ms. Jill Farren Phelps be IMMEDIATELY REMOVED FROM THEIR POSITIONS as Head Writer and Executive Producer of General Hospital.

Out of courtesy, we felt the powers that be at ABC Daytime Television would like to hear the fans reasoning on why the ratings for their show, General Hospital, seem to be falling at a steady rate. As fans who watch and love the show and know its history, some who have only recently tuned in but most who have been long time viewers of the show, following is our take on why many are now choosing to tune out.

We love this show, and we don't want to see it canceled. We believe there are some extremely talented writers on the General Hospital staff. CASE IN POINT: Karen Harris, Michele Val Jean and Nathan Fissell. These fine writers can only do so much with what they are given and with Mr. Guza at the helm that is very little. We have done our own research (message boards, Twitter, Facebook) and have come up with the major reasons people are VERY unhappy with General Hospital right now. Below are the most common complaints our research concluded and we believe the powers that be at DATV should immediately consider addressing in order to repair current stories and ensure the consistency of future stories told on General Hospital.

1. Dropped storylines: Fans of daytime television are loyal viewers, some who have been with the show for over 30 years or more, and they know the history of the show. They know the characters, they know the lead up and follow through of storylines, and they know their favorite characters. So when storylines get dropped part way through it is a slap in the face to the intelligence of the viewers and fans and we will only take it for so long. Examples of this include but are not limited to:

a. Brooklyn drugging Dante and Carly never being exposed for her plan. Never happened, never addressed with Dante by Lulu which is ridiculously farfetched. Also, it is unbelievably irresponsible to let the drugging of a cop and an attempted date rape where the offender faces no consequences go unresolved
b. The introduction of Valentin Cassadine which was intimated on screen by Helena Cassadine in the fall of 2009 and then dropped with no follow through

2. Underused Characters/Actors: Repetitive dialogue and scenes is directly related to underused characters. As long time fans of the show we know the core families and we know how they tie to the canvas. The Quartermaine family has been annihilated with only a few left on the canvas. We only see Lesley Webber, Bobbie Spencer, Mac Scorpio, among others during special occasions and it doesnt fit because they have the strongest tie to the show. Characters don't have to be deeply involved in storylines to have interesting, entertaining scenes. The show is missing group scenes where there can be interaction and tie in to current story lines on screen. The show has lost the Hospital part of General Hospital and it no longer promotes Love in the Afternoon. Why can't we ever have couples going out on dates, enjoying themselves, building relationships without it being related to a mob storyline or a shooting? We DO enjoy happy times, and it is not necessary to have angst or violence to keep things interesting. Happy does not equal boring. Some of our favorite underused characters are Diane, Matt, Kate, The Q's, Epiphany, Alexis, Bobbie, Mac, and Olivia.

3. Overused Characters: We all have characters we love and hate but the quickest way to ruin a character is to overuse them. As an ensemble cast it is unfortunate that the head writer only finds it necessary to write for 6 or 7 character on screen. Add to that frustration the fact that even when one of those arent on screen their name becomes a fixture in the dialogue. CASE IN POINT: the return of Brenda Barrett and the fact that the last 3+ months have been solely focused on one character at the expense of the rest of the cast. She WAS a fan favorite and had her return been balanced the show could have brought in the new viewers and gained them as Brenda fans but by revolving the entire show around one character it will cause people to go into overload and tune out. The last 10+ years the same thing has been happening with Sonny Corinthos and Jason Morgan and the constant focus of the show on violence and the mob.

4. Portrayal of Women: The Head Writer has slowly decimated all the strong women characters on the show and ensured that they all have been sacrificed for the male characters and their development. Over and over again, women are portrayed as catty, insecure, spineless creatures that frequently end up in Shadybrook while the men on the show continue to get away without any consequences for their actions. CASE IN POINT: Sonny Corinthos who has repeatedly broken the law over the last 15 years and has never had to pay for any of his crimes. Most recently, shooting his son, an undercover police officer, and not having to spend one night in jail! Why must the women be the only ones on the show portrayed as weak? How many more strong female characters will turn their back on their jobs, their morals and their good sense to sleep with Sonny? Claire is a good example of a female who came on the show with a strong sense of self. How sad she had to lose it all in a repetitive storyline of another smart woman turning her back on everything for sex with a mobster. Women deal with and balance jobs, friendships, significant others, kids, and much more on a daily basis and we would like to see similar characteristics on screen rather than watch women be sacrificed at the altar of the men in their lives to prop their characters.

5. Lack of Romance: LOVE IN THE AFTERNOON is what we tune in for! Adventure, excitement, drama, BUT MOSTLY ROMANCE! The focus for the last 10 years on the MOB and the VIOLENCE has caused many to tune out because there is no balance on screen. General Hospital has only TWO current couples on the show that are happy Dante and Lulu and Jason and Sam and the current head writer has chosen to sacrifice BOTH OF THESE COUPLES to continue to prop Brenda Barrett and the Brenda Barrett show! The buildup of the Dante and Lulu love story was a slow build and that is what drew in the fans of the couple. Jason and Sam have overcome many obstacles to get to the place they are now and their fans have had to suffer through some character destruction before they found their way back to each other. Creative writing is absent in the current writing regime and as fans we understand that angst is a necessary evil to keep couples interesting but a third party doesnt always have to be the standard when it comes to couple angst!

6. Character Assassination/Rewriting of Character Histories: We've seen it over and over again. Sam fans experienced it, and more recently Elizabeth fans experienced it. You take established, well loved characters and completely turn them into someone they aren't. It makes watching difficult even for lifelong fans and it is a lazy way to push through stories rather than spend the time keeping the history and character traits that drew the fans to the characters in the first place. Rather than actually put the time and effort into dialogue that shows people grow and change emotionally over time character histories are rewritten and the fans are expected to just accept this and move on. Your viewers are intelligent, and we pay attention to detail! It can be very frustrating as a fan to see a character say or do things that are completely contradictory to their past statements.

7. Missed Opportunities: I completely believe that General Hospital has the best actors on Daytime. Give them material worthy of their talents. Why haven't we seen Michael really dealing with what happened to him in Pentonville? Why hasn't anyone in all of Port Charles gotten this poor boy to therapy? Let him actually deal with his feelings in a responsible way, instead of going to a stripper to talk it out! A lot of people feel the ball was dropped on the abuse storyline with Kristina. Did we really see her dealing with her issues, or did the story get turned into more scenes of Sonny reminiscing over his troubled past?

8. Budget Cuts: With the daytime genre on the decline budgets are getting smaller. It frustrates long time fans when they hear that a favorite character has been dropped to recurring status and then a major announcement is made that a favorite character is returning. This is stunt casting and it never works! General Hospital has a very talented cast ready, willing, and able to take on any challenge that the writers can give them. Fans do not tune in to see Big Names but rather to see decent stories. Give the fans what they want and keep them engaged and they will stay loyal. Slap them in the face but paying a large portion of your budget to bring back a star and they will revolt and tune out.

The bottom line is that too many stories told on General Hospital lack proper story development and structure. They are repetitive in content and character usage, are not played out to their fullest extent or dropped altogether with little or no explanation offered. Character histories are changed at whim to suit particular stories and characters are sacrificed to fit reactionary change to storylines that make no sense. The portrayal of gender is rather misogynistic and there is far too much violence and not enough character interaction and romance.

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Goal reached !
100 / 100

Latest Signatures

  • 28 December 2015100. Barbara Velazquez
    sick of brenda brenda brenda .only watch becaus of dante&lulu and the writers have ruined them .
  • 18 December 201599. Caren Buck
    Enough! Want some lovin in the afternoon not just Mob! Show is on a downward spiral fast! LANTE FOREVER!!
  • 13 December 201598. Nancy G
    I support this petition
  • 24 November 201597. Rahma Hayden
    I support this petition
  • 10 November 201596. Virginia Annc
    I support this petition
  • 04 November 201595. Bill Roberson
    I support this petition
  • 10 October 201594. Brenda S
    I support this petition
  • 24 August 201593. Sue J
    I support this petition
  • 18 August 201592. April G
    With my busy schedule, I don't have time to watch soap operas but because I've been a fan of Kirsten Storms & Jason Cook, I started to watch GH when I could and I've enjoyed, but it's just not keeping me interested. I grew to enjoy other characters as
  • 14 August 201591. Isabella K
    I support this petition
  • 17 May 201590. Joan T
    Very disappointed in this current storyline and the ruin of the Dante character . Just disgusting even having the implication that Dante slept with a women old enough to be his mom. Tired of character assassinations.
  • 16 April 201589. Gloria R
    Guza is tanking this soap!
  • 13 April 201588. Ethel M
    i have been watching since the 60's and the last 10 years has been horribly written - get rid of Guza & Phelps and hire some decent writers.
  • 05 April 201587. Barbra C
    I support this petition
  • 05 February 201586. Melissa Levy
    Love Lante. Thats why I started watching GH again. I want to save GH I am still watching it because I love Lulu and Dante and some of the other character like Luke, Tracy, Edward, Ethan, Kristina, Michael.
  • 14 January 201585. Melissa M
    I support this petition
  • 02 January 201584. Christopher M
    His writting has become horrible. And what he does to characters in the name of his own faves like Jason,Sonny,Carly and Brenda is foul. He's ruined characters left and right and the storylines are getting old.
  • 26 December 201483. Kim Mckinney
    I support this petition
  • 27 November 201482. Rhonda D
    I support this petition
  • 13 November 201481. Christina Hubbard
    I support this petition
  • 09 September 201480. George K
    Get a new head writer gh is dieing
  • 10 August 201479. Mia Crawford
    I support this petition
  • 05 July 201478. Shannon Oneill
    Guza has ruined some really good characters and story lines! GH has the BEST actors/actresses in Daytime! Use them for good and give us what we want!!!!
  • 17 May 201477. Alexandra Charles
    I support this petition
  • 27 April 201476. Melinda W
    I support this petition
  • 15 April 201475. Linda R
    I support this petition
  • 14 April 201474. Katherine Kellyl
    I support this petition

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Information

Lynda MullenBy:
Culture and SocietyIn:
Petition target:
Anne Sweeney, President ABC TV

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