Like many ABC Daytime soap fans, I am reeling from this week’s firings of some of my favorite soap stars; but, I have not been watching Adam Chandler, Asa Buchanan, and Edward Quartermaine all these years for nothing. I know what to do when a company pisses me off: buy them!
Fantasizing about firing ABC Daytime executives is a popular parlor game among dissatisfied soap fans, but this week’s firing of popular General Hospital actor Rebecca Herbst, who portrays Elizabeth Webber, Dr. Steve Hardy’s granddaughter, has long-time fans lashing out with unusual vigor. According to Soap Opera Digest, ABC claims the ouster is "storyline dictated." Long-time soap pundit, Carolyn Hinesy patronizingly hypothesized, "soaps are a business...kids," as if our pretty, little heads cannot comprehend strategic business and economic decision-making.
Anecdotally, fans claim to be flooding the network with letters, emails, and phone calls. Passionate fan pleas on Twitter, Facebook, message boards, and podcasts call for boycotting ABC Daytime during the critical February Sweeps period. ABC Daytime has upset fans before. Doubtless, they even anticipated the usual flurry of audience backlash this time. What ABC/DISNEY absolutely does not expect is for their predominantly female audience to fight back in a way that could give them a voice in the governance and future direction of the entire company.
Disney is a publicly traded corporation, which means they answer to shareholders. Every Disney shareholder, whether they own one share or a million, has a right to attend the Annual Shareholder Meeting, vote for the Board of Directors, and receive regular updates on corporate finances and strategic, future plans. Even if a shareholder cannot attend the Annual Disney Shareholders Meeting, they are provided an opportunity to vote via proxy through mail or electronically. Every shareholder has one vote per share owned, but even with a single share, you can vote to retain or replace Board Members who share your vision for Disney/ABC.
Friday, Disney (DIS) stock closed near $40 per share. The price range for Disney stock over the past year has been between $28.71 and $40. Essentially, for less than $40, you can own a piece of ABC/DISNEY. Suddenly, you are no longer "just a soap fan" to be ignored; you are part-owner of the whole shebang.