Oscar-winning actress Whoopi Goldberg will return to the role of Rose Schwarz in a Paramount+ series spin-off of the 1991 comedy Soapdish. Deadline reports that Goldberg, who starred opposite Sally Field in the original film, will reprise her role as the head writer for the interminable soap opera The Sun Also Sets. Jane the Virgin creator Jennie Snyder Urman will showrun and produce the series.
Soapdish debuted as a film back in 1991 that also starred Kevin Kline, Robert Downey Jr., Elisabeth Shue, Carrie Fisher, Teri Hatcher, Cathy Moriarty, Kathy Najimy, and Garry Marshall. The movie lampooned the tropes and backstage drama of a long-running network soap opera, and has since earned a cult following for its one-liner zingers and camp humor.
But the film has also earned criticism for its portrayal of transgender characters, and for using them as a source of “gross-out” humor.
In the movie’s cringeworthy final twist, one character is revealed to be transgender, causing at least one other character to gag in disgust. It ends with said character “de-transitioning” and returning to play dinner theatre. Understandably, the plot attracted wide derision in Disclosure, Sam Feder’s documentary about the portrayal of trans people in films and TV.
Here’s hoping that 30 years on, the show has a bit more respect for trans people. For that matter, we also hope to see the return of several other familiar faces opposite Goldberg’s Cheshire grin. The prospect of seeing Field, Hatcher, Najimy and et. al. reteaming for an update–albeit one compassionate to the queer world–is too promising a premise to ignore.
Here’s how Twitter is responding to the news…
I'm usually not for remakes, but Soapdish is transphobic and we need a proper version. https://t.co/GCrTp3B1cu
— Jorge (he/him) (@motoridersd) January 11, 2022
As a soap writer I am excited about the #SoapDish reboot with Whoopi back in the role of Rose. I hope the reboot includes some really positive LGBTQIA representation.
— Tracey Ann Kelly ? (@TAKellywriter) January 10, 2022
The original Soapdish from 1991. A spoof about daytime soap operas. Aaron Spelling was responsible for this. I cannot wait for Whoopi Goldberg to reprise her role as head writer Rose Schwartz on the proposed reboot on Paramount @WhoopiGoldberg #Soapdish #RoseSchwartz pic.twitter.com/MON6w0ViwL
— Donald Peebles Jr. (@DonaldJrPeebles) January 10, 2022
I hope they can do “Soapdish” without the transphobia this time? The rest of it is excellent and perfect for a reboot.
— Thomas Edge 🏳️🌈 (@tjedge20) January 11, 2022
Cathy Moriarty will always be a fave, it’s such a shame her Soapdish plot turns transphobic because she’s one of the best things about that (amazing, save for the transphobic twist at the end) movie
— Lux “Feijoa Fan” Alptraum (@LuxAlptraum) January 9, 2022