Billy Dee Williams was unwittingly caught up in a public relations nightmare regarding use of a photo prop on his Soap Net soap opera, “General Hospital: Night Shift.”
In a recent episode, his character, a hospital worker, looks at a picture of the son he abandoned long ago. The photo, it turns out, is of a real life boy named Christopher Barrios, who was brutally murdered last year in Georgia.
His grandmother, Sue Rodriquez, expressed shock during an interview with local news channel KRXI. “They have no right doing that — not a bit of right,” she said.
ABC has issued the following apology:
“While the production team would never have knowingly chosen this particular photo, its use was a terrible error. We offer our deepest condolences to the Barrios family for their loss and our sincerest apologies for any pain caused by our mistake. In the coming weeks, SOAPnet will air a series of public service announcements in Christopher’s honor, to raise awareness of missing and exploited children. Meanwhile, the episode is being edited to permanently remove the photo, and we have taken steps, including reviewing internal processes to determine how it happened in hopes of preventing this type of mistake from occurring again.”