As Days of Our Lives Airs Its 14,000th Episode, Headwriter Ron Carlivati Revisits the ‘Did Stefan Rape Abigail?’ Debate: ‘I Stand By My Words’
December 17 was a day of celebration… and heated discussion.
Just like on Days of Our Lives, things can change pretty quickly, they can shift on a dime in the Twitterverse, too. So one minute headwriter Ron Carlivati was congratulating Salem’s lot on reaching their 14,000th episode — 2,000 more shows than The Young and the Restless recently celebrated, for those keeping score — and the next he was being drawn back into the debate over whether Stefan (played back then by Tyler Christopher) had raped Abigail by having sex with her Gabi-inspired alternate personality, “Gabby.”
“I have always said that Stefan’s relationship with ‘Gabby’ was wrong,” he tweeted. “He took advantage of the situation.
“Some people and some characters on the show consider what he did to be rape. I personally do not,” he continued. “I think calling it rape does a disservice to actual rape victims.”
Carlivati, previously the top scribe at One Life to Live and General Hospital, went on to say that it wasn’t just fans with whom he’d discussed the topic. “I’ve had this debate many times with many people. I have a [female] friend in the business who calls what Stefan did ‘rape adjacent,’” he noted. “However you choose to describe it, it was always portrayed as wrong, and Stefan suffered and was punished for it, as he should have been.”
2/I've had this debate many times with many people. I have a (female) friend in the business who calls what Stefan did "rape adjacent." However you choose to describe it, it was always portrayed as wrong, and Stefan suffered and was punished for it, as he should have been. #days
— Ron Carlivati (@carlivatiron) December 17, 2020
However, was Stefan’s sexual relationship with Abigail when she wasn’t in her right mind to consent rape? Not in the mind of the storyline’s architect. “I stand by my words,” Carlivati concluded.
What do you think, Days of Our Lives viewers? Was it rape… rape adjacent… ? And do you feel the same way about the relationship that decades ago One Life to Live’s Harry O’Neill had with Viki Buchanan’s alternate personality, Niki Smith? Or is that a whole different ball of wax because he wasn’t aware that he was dealing with someone suffering from a very serious mental illness?
And what about The Young and the Restless’ Patty Williams seducing ex-husband Jack Abbott in 2009 with a new face and a new identity (that of Mary Jane Benson)? Would that constitute rape since he never consented to get physical with Patty, only this woman who, unbeknownst to him, didn’t actually exist?
Sound off in the comments below, then stop by our below photo gallery that revisits highlights from Days of Our Lives’ 55 years and 14,000 episodes.