“General Hospital” spoilers say Elizabeth Webber will revisit her victimization at the hands of rapist Tom Baker next week. The part of Tom has been recast by the talented Don Harvey who will bring a creepy gravitas to the part. But is “GH” going too far and turning off their fan base?

Hotly debated – Franco as a rapist

This storyline is polarizing for many fans. Franco has been called out as a rapist by many fans despite the reveal that he never laid a hand on Sam Morgan. They are angry that Liz, as a rape victim, is being comforted by a rapist over her upset at Tom’s parole from Pentonville.

But is Franco a rapist?

Technically, Franco did not rape Sam Morgan. There was no penetration. No act of sexual congress. However, for years, Sam thought he raped her. Franco covered the camera and left Sam to assume that the rape took place even though it didn't. But does that technicality even matter?

Psychological vs. physical rape?

Sam was drugged so she had no way to know that she was not raped. When Franco finally showed her the full video years later and she discovered no rape took place, it was too late by then.

In Sam’s mind, she was a rape victim and that damage can’t be undone. Many fans have been outraged by this story and don’t think Franco can or should be redeemed. Some have threatened to turn off the show until this storyline is over. Interestingly, “GH” may be co-opting “One Life to Live” and their Roger Howarth plot.

'One Life to Live' parallels

Ron Carlivati wrote for “One Life to Live” when Roger Howarth played Todd Manning and there was a rape and rapist redeemed story.

“OLTL” fans were similarly appalled and clicked off their TVs in response. This could have contributed to “OLTL”’s ultimate cancellation. When Carlivati wrote for Howarth as Franco Baldwin over on "GH", he immediately tried to rehabilitate him. Under Carlivati’s pen, it was revealed that Franco did not physically rape Sam and did not set Michael Corinthos up to be raped in prison. But did rewriting history fail?

Will 'GH' ratings suffer over this rape plot?

“General Hospital” spoilers say we’ve got much more Tom Baker rape story. Franco plans to confront Elizabeth’s rapist and has the address to find him. We know Liz finds out what he’s planning and tells him to stop and leave it alone. “GH” spoilers reveal more twists to come.

We’re assuming Tom plans to come after Liz but perhaps he was rehabilitated in prison – probably not. Franco will question if he deserves to be with Liz, a rape victim. Fans have been asking this for weeks. They were okay with Franco and Nina, but many hate the #Friz pairing.

Misplaced politics killing the romance?

“GH” co-head writers Jean Passanante and Shelly Altman have been accused of glorifying rape culture. This isn’t the first time they have dipped their toes in controversy. They tried an anti-gun story and a pro-public breastfeeding, but Boobgate fell flat (no pun intended).

Is the “Jelly” writing team putting their agenda above fan preference? Some have accused TPTB at “GH” of being deliberately provocative to drive ratings down to kill the last ABC soap and make room in the daytime schedule for cheaper talk show programming.

Soap operas have historically been about romance and that's what fans want and are not getting.

“GH” has done good work over the years with their breast cancer and HIV awareness stories but this rape plot seems forced, misguided, and questionable at best. Will you keep watching?

“General Hospital” airs weekdays on ABC.

Video: Sam reveals to Michael that Franco raped her.

Video: Elizabeth tells Franco that she was raped.

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