After a little bit of searching, and a much appreciated tip from his former Newsweek editor, I finally managed to speak with Harry F. Waters yesterday. Waters, a longtime television industry journalist, was the person who wrote the Newsweek article so often said to have launched the backlash against Soap.
As we determined earlier, there was nothing particularly inflammatory nor incorrect in that piece, which was published exactly three months before the premiere of the show.
Waters was extremely gracious with his time, and actually quite surprised to hear about all the controversy that has been laid at the feet of that one article so many years ago. His observations on the television landscape at the time were extremely interesting, and will go a long way toward putting much of the resulting controversy in perspective in the book. As he observed:
“I can’t believe they can be mad at Newsweek for a show that ran for four years. Ninety-nine percent of all sitcoms last what, one season?”