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General Hospital’s Maurice Benard knocks it out of the park as Sonny Corinthos

Maurice Benard and Maura West as Sonny and Ava on General Hospital.
Sonny brought Avery to see Ava on General Hospital. Pic credit: ABC

What’s your superpower? Everyone has one, be it kindness, genius or raising the next generation. We all have power, some of us also have a platform. This week General Hospital viewers were the beneficiaries of Maurice Benard’s incredible power via the soap’s platform.

If you watched, you saw a scene in which Maurice’s character, Sonny Corinthos, took his daughter Avery (Ava/Grace Scarola) to see her mom.

On the surface, it’s not all that extraordinary for a soapy family visit to go down. But in this case, it was for several reasons. First, Sonny despises his baby momma Ava (Maura West). Second, Ava is at Shadybrook after seemingly having a mental breakdown.

The speculation was rife that Sonny would use his power to gain sole custody of Avery now that Ava is in a vulnerable position.

Whether or not he ultimately acts against Ava remains to be seen. In the meantime, it was a surprising twist that he overrode his darker instincts and took the little girl to see her mom, something that was beneficial for both of them.

While there, Sonny urged Ava to get better and told her he brought Avery because he doesn’t want their daughter to develop a stigma about mental illness—bravo!

The powerful scene may have been written by General Hospital scribes, but my hunch is that it was Maurice who suggested it. At the least, it was his presence that inspired it.

Maurice’s advocacy for mental health awareness has helped millions of people who otherwise may never have heard the message. Sonny’s onscreen struggles with bipolar disorder are a direct result of Maurice’s wish to incorporate a slice of his own life into the GH storyline to enlighten and educate others.

He’s very vocal about ending the stigma against mental health issues. Using his power to help and inspire others is a takeaway message that reinforces the strength of our own ability to change the world in ways both big and small.

General Hospital airs weekdays on ABC.

Tanya is a freelance writer, therapist and educator. The L.A. native was born at General Hospital, foreshadowing her obsession with writing about soaps, something that makes her... read more


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