The Associated Press
NEW YORKÄThe ugly reality of the Oklahoma City bombing prompted an apologetic disclaimer Monday from ABC's ''All My Children,'' a soap opera in which a character has been plotting to bomb a wedding.
In ABC's top-rated daytime drama, the character Janet Green (played by Robin Mattson) plots to build a bomb and plant it at the wedding of Trevor and Lauren (James Kiberd and Felicity LaFortune).
The demented Janet believes she will regain custody of her infant daughter, Amanda, by destroying the couple at their wedding next month.
''Unfortunately, these scenes were taped weeks ago and began airing this week,'' said ABC publicist Sally Schoenbaum. ''Today we showed Janet fumbling with the bomb, discovering she really doesn't know how to build a bomb.''
Although wild plot turns are common during the May ratings sweeps when networks are trying to boost affiliate advertising rates, this coincidence was too painful to go unnoticed.
The show's actors and producers met and decided to air a taped statement at the top of Monday's show and before every episode that deals with the wedding bomb. The actress who plays Janet addresses the home audience directly:
''Hello, I'm Robin Mattson, the actress who plays Janet on 'All My Children,''' she said. ''All of us were horrifed by and deplore the violence in Oklahoma City that took so many innocent lives. Violence is never, never a way of settling differences in a civilized society.
''Today's episode, in which Janet uses a bomb, was taped long before the tragic occurrence in Oklahoma City,'' the actress said. ''We regret this coincidence and are certain that your concerns about the story will be allayed when you see the outcome.''
''All My Children'' also shot a new scene to insert into the serial: ''There will be a scene ... that includes newspapers with Oklahoma City reports in them, and the reports will affect Janet,'' Schoenbaum said.
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