General Hospital · Characters · Commentary

The “Yes, But Your Boy Did This” Defense

Originally posted December 17, 2017.

Note: If you like Franco and don’t enjoy hearing criticism of his character, you’re gonna wanna turn away. I’m not in the mood on this subject. We can debate his redemption story all you want, but I just can’t anymore with this sexual assault crap.

The other day, General Hospital’s Twitter feed asked if Franco deserves Elizabeth’s love. I responded that no, he didn’t. He’s a sexual predator and I’ll never buy the tumor storyline.

I get it. The show wrote him a redemption storyline that worked for a lot of people. Good. That’s how fiction works. Something works for you. Doesn’t work for everyone. And for a lot of us, there was no redemption that could be written to make the Elizabeth and Franco pairing palatable. We don’t have to debate that. My reasons are my reasons, and I’m allowed to have them.

What absolutely drives me crazy is the response to the statement that Franco is a sexual predator, because it’s often a variation on the same theme. The “Yes, But Your Boy Did This” Defense. It exists in real life, and we’re seeing constantly to deflect from sexual misconduct accusations.

When I talk about hating that Franco is lying to Elizabeth, I get but Elizabeth lied too!  Great. That has literally nothing to do with this story.

When I talk about Franco being a sexual predator, I get two responses:

1. He didn’t actually sexually assault Sam, and he didn’t want Michael to get raped.

2. Yes, but your boy did this.

We’ll come back to number 2, but let’s dispense with number one right now. We can set aside the Michael storyline because Franco didn’t literally do that and it’s facilitation at best. So, you know what? You can take that off the chalk board. Score one for you.

He absolutely, unequivocally, without question sexually assaulted Sam. And he made Jason watch.

Sexual assault does not require penetration. And I’m sorry, I think we only have Franco’s word that he didn’t rape Sam. The fact that he’s not Danny’s father doesn’t mean anything to me. It just means there’s no biological evidence. (And I would love them for to revisit that because I’m pretty sure we’re still taking Todd Manning’s word for it on the paternity test. Feel free to correct me.)

You can come at me with your brain tumor nonsense, and I’ll just repeat the name Manny Ruiz until I die. Because they used the same storyline, only Manny Ruiz wasn’t played by a high profile contract player and Franco is. That’s the difference. If Franco were anyone else, the brain tumor would already be a smoke shield.

Also, the brain tumor doesn’t work on another level: He’s still a sociopath. His entire world is built on how people reflect on him. People only matter to him if they can do something for him. Elizabeth and the boys? Make him presentable. Respectable. I believe he even loves Elizabeth. But look at how what happens when he doubts her. He immediately turns on her. Puts her on the defensive. Makes her feel guilty. That’s toxic.

So yeah, the brain tumor didn’t change his brain chemistry. It only allowed him to better control his impulses. Those impulses are there. They were there when Franco helped Nina kidnap a baby, humiliate Carly in front of her nine-year-old daughter, and bury his mother alive. Not to mention, he threatened to kill Carly.

You can argue that Carly and Heather deserved what they got — but that doesn’t change the fact that Franco did it.  People deserve a lot of things. That doesn’t mean you do it.

Franco absolutely sexually assaulted Sam. And the brain tumor doesn’t work for me.

BECAUSE MANNY RUIZ HAD THE SAME BRAIN TUMOR. All it did was make him question himself. Ultimately, Manny went back to his old life and impulses.

And if Franco has nothing to lose? If he thinks Elizabeth is walking away from him? He already lied to her when she didn’t even give him a reason to distrust her. When happens if and when she actually goes? Look what he did to Carly for leaving him? You think Elizabeth isn’t in for a rude awakening?

But let’s get back to the number two defense of Franco. Yes, but your boy did this. 

Yes, but Jason is a killer.

Yes, but Sam kidnapped Jake.

Yes, but Elizabeth lied.

Yes, but Sonny had Karen stripping underage.

Yes, but…

Listen. All of those things are true. And we could spend hours here talking about those characters. I probably will.

That’s called deflection. Your boy is a sexual predator. When you come at me with this “but your boy did this” crap, I don’t hear you disagreeing. I hear you changing the subject.

Your boy is a sexual predator. He sexually assaulted Sam. He still has violent urges. And his violent urges are pretty goddamn sick.

Yeah, Jason and Sonny are violent men too. And Sonny’s history with Karen is problematic, let’s just leave him out of this because Sonny drives me crazy anyway.

You know what you can’t say about Jason? He’s not a sexual predator. And calling him a killer is unsophisticated view of the entire character history of Jason Morgan in general. So until my boy is anywhere near the savage animal that Franco is, I leave you with this:

Your boy is a sexual predator.

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