General Hospital executive producer Nathan Varni broke an unspoken rule — he revealed the status of a contract negotiation, revealing that Rebecca Herbst could be leaving the ABC daytime drama. The network, well all of the networks, have an unspoken rule — they don’t comment on any contract renewals or speak of any casting updates until the decision is final.
Daytime Confidential reported that Nathan Varni created a huge mess for General Hospital’s public relations department after he participated in a Facebook private message revealing that Herbst may be leaving the show, even though the powers that be did everything they could to entice her to sign a new contract. It really isn’t about Rebecca Herbst anymore; it’s about a standard the network has set about the release of casting updates, and the executives changing the rules at their discretion.
Nathan Varni has a long history of releasing spoilers on his social media accounts to keep the fans engaged in General Hospital. It wasn’t that big of a leap to assume the ABC executive producer would chat with a soap opera fan about Rebecca Herbst’s contract status. After the private message had been leaked to social media, fans were outraged that he revealed so much about her contract status. It was their understanding that contract statuses are a private matter and shouldn’t be addressed. So, why did he reveal that Rebecca Herbst could be leaving General Hospital?
Once Nathan released he revealed too much about Rebecca’s contract negotiations, he allegedly backtracked. According to Nathan’s Facebook, he has been hacked and claims he never sent a private message to anyone. According to his status update, private messages are to be kept between those it originally concerned. He details that his account was hacked, and he will no longer return any more private messages.
Varni’s Facebook status confused the General Hospital fans. When he said he will cease to respond, that implies he previously had responded to a message — possibly the one that allegedly stated Rebecca Herbst’s contract talks hit a major snag.
One of the reasons that fans are in an uproar about Nathan’s private message is he assumed that the General Hospital audience is “immature” because they were upset at the possibility of Rebecca Herbst leaving the show. ABC soap opera fans have spent a few hours on Twitter trashing the executive producer and have called for his firing. In fact, many feel that he not only broke a major network rule about discussing casting scoops, but he offended many of the fans.
The truth is, Nathan Varni was incredibly unprofessional in revealing the details about Rebecca Herbst’s contract negotiations. Nathan’s loose lips about Rebecca’s contract talks should be alarming to other actors. Who’s to say that Nathan Varno won’t point the finger (publicly) at Rebecca and tells the fans, “It’s was General Hospital’s fault, Rebecca didn’t sign the deal we gave her!” And if he’d do this to Rebecca, Nathan would do it to any one of the actors on the show.
I’m not suggesting that Nathan Varni should be fired, in any way. Nathan needs a (gentle) reminder of what his role is on the show, and to leave the press releases to the public relations department.
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