maurice benard backlash kanye west general hospital
Credit: Images: Jill Johnson/JPI, Jennifer Graylock/JPI

“Let’s not judge,” says the Daytime Emmy winner.

In the latest installment of his State of Mind series on mental health, General Hospital leading man Maurice Benard (Sonny) addresses the backlash to his Twitter post about Kanye West. “I knew it was gonna be controversial,” he admits upfront. But it seems to him that “a lot of people don’t have a lot of compassion,” especially when it comes to the Grammy winner-turned-would-be POTUS.

“The way I see it is, I don’t really care of your race, of your religion, anything, ’cause what I see and what I feel is someone’s pain,” says Benard, who’s long been open about his bipolar diagnosis. “Knowing that Kanye West is bipolar, I’m a little more apt to have a little more compassion because I know what that pain is like. It’s not fun, OK?”

So, being as empathetic as he is, Benard has been troubled since seeing video footage of West having what appeared to him to be a breakdown. But, as the actor was told by wife Paula, there’s nothing to be done. “It’s tough,” says Benard, “because until the individual wants to get help, there’s really nothing you can do.”

In any case, the fan favorite beseeches his followers to try to find it in their hearts to be a little kinder, a little gentler to those who may be suffering. “We should not judge until we’ve walked in someone’s shoes,” he says. So “let’s not judge. You never know what somebody’s going through.”

Speaking of folks who have been put through the wringer, below you’ll find a photo gallery that recounts some of the more dramatic trials and tribulations that Benard’s Port Charles alter ego has endured. Check it out, and suddenly, your travails might seem trivial by comparison.