With a new writing team in place at Days of our Lives, reports of cast shedding has begun, with Daytime Confidential reporting Martha Madison (Belle), Brandon Beemer (Shawn), Marie Wilson (Summer) and Sal Stowers (Lani) are the first casualties.
Last month, Days of our Lives announced co-head writer Josh Griffith was departing the show. Co-head writer Dena Higley remained, with staff writer Ryan Quan joining her as co-head writer.
Shawn and Belle returned for the series’ 50th anniversary celebration with a now teenage daughter (Claire) and marital baggage. Belle was positioned to in a prominent slot, with her estrangement from her daughter, romance with Philip (John-Paul Lavoisier) and a boatload of money thanks to her devious sister Sami.
Beemer began airing in January, having been tapped once again to replace Jason Cook, who opted to depart after the anniversary storyline concluded. Stowers’ character was revealed to be the long-long daughter of Abe, but hasn’t done much of anything since her debut last fall, though a potential romance with Shawn was on the horizon. Wilson debuted in February, playing a mysterious woman appearing in Brady’s dreams. Summer was revealed to be Maggie Horton’s child given up for adoption years ago.
Martha Madison confirmed her exit on Twitter, writing, “Au revoir Salem!”
TV Source Magazine has reached out Days of our Lives for comment.
My Take: Words cannot express how disappointed I am at the exit of Martha Madison and Brandon Beemer. They’re young, vibrant, dynamic actors with characters that should be anchoring the next generation of drama. Shawn and Belle are the children of the series’ most popular and iconic characters. How is it that there’s no interest in writing for them? Belle’s new attitude may have been polarizing with some fans, but I loved her assertiveness, confidence and willingness to put herself first for a change. Beemer and Madison wouldn’t be on my list of cast to cut by any means. This is sad.
Summer seemed like a character destined for the short-term; and nothing was done with Lani for me to feel either way. I will say it’s disappointing that once again; an actress of color remains an afterthought in a genre that once placed a value on showcasing diversity.