Eric Braeden Says "Exit Was Rushed"




In the wake of the news of Eric Braeden's departure from The Young and the Restless, the actor frankly discussed his alter ego Victor's exit with Entertainment Weekly's Lynette Rice.
What does this say about the state of the industry when a production company is asking the star of the No. 1 show in daytime to take a pay cut? Should everyone be worried?

Yes, though it depends on what the star does. All options are open right now. What can I tell you? I know there are certain economic realities that dictate the actions they are taking right now, but the manner in which its being done is most insulting.

You taped your last episode on Sept. 23. Was that the way you wanted Victor to go?

No. It was rushed. It was obviously meant to intimidate. It was obviously done with enormous forethought to coincide with the end of the 26-week cycle. Essentially that is what the business is doing now and has been doing for a while. And quite frankly, it’s outrageous. When I sign a three-year deal, I’m obligated to fulfill that deal. The producers, however, can come to me after a half-year and say, “We’ve changed our minds.” Where in the world of business does this kind of contract exist? Do I blame the people for wanting to squeeze as much out of us as they can? I do not. The question is, when do you squeeze too much? 

Photo by PR Photos

Thanks to Rebecca for the tip!

 

Comments

Member since:
16 September 2009
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With all the interviews EB is giving and the fact he is not holding back anything in his feelings about how he is being treated. It makes me wonder if he has torpedoed any chance of coming back to the Y&R or if he would even come back? The sad thing is that this is actually more interesting than some of the storylines on the Y&R lately!

dsrbroadway's picture
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20 January 2008
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The guy's made a second career out of whining about his job, so why should it be anything different now.

season1217's picture
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Was Melody treated any differently during her contract negotiations or did he just think the same thing that happened to her wouldn't happen to him because he's Eric Braeden?

GossipGirl's picture
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Eric Braeden is already annoying me! I can understand his point of honoring a contract he has already signed, but it's hard to feel bad for someone who's been making millions of dollars for many years! I mean, Susan Lucci took a 40% pay cut for the team and she's much more famous than he is! Actually, she deserves much more just for having to read Pratt's dialogue everyday!

Scout's picture
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Season1217, I very much think he thought that being Eric Braeden would protect him, but the fact is that, in a soap, no one is indispensible. How many times has that been proven now?

season1217's picture
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Actually, she deserves much more just for having to read Pratt's dialogue everyday!

Chapter. Verse. The whole book of Genesis!

I very much think he thought that being Eric Braeden would protect him, but the fact is that, in a soap, no one is indispensible. How many times has that been proven now?

He said his exit was rushed but so was Melody's. One minute she's planning her wedding to Paul and the next she's having flashbacks of Victor and leaves without even telling her children goodbye.

alex197923's picture
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If she can take a pay cut....He sure as hell can this is the 1980's!!!!

Member since:
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People should READ the freaking article before attacking Eric!!!!

I've watch this show since 1991, age 6. I remember the 90s when the show rocked.

It does NOT rock anymore. I know DC loves to point out the SUPERB acting, but the storylines SUCK. MAB is WORSE than LML. In fact, while I thought some LML stories were stupid, I didn't start noticing how BAD this show was until THIS YEAR.

Most fans of Y&R DO NOT blog about the show online. The views represented here are the MINORITY. Trust me. Most people will NOT watch the show after EB is gone. And, it'll take them some time. This is the soap world. We don't have ET or TMZ or People covering our stars like that. Viewers have to wait a while before they realize their favorite star isn't returning. And when they do, the ratings WILL fall.

Would you be okay if your boss just decided to cut your pay and not honor your contract? People live at the level the make. So...stop acting like EB is a monster or a diva. He just asked to be treated with respect. He had no problem taking a pay cut when his current contract was OVER.

All the new viewers really need to learn about Y&R's glory days. And they definitely ain't now. Sorry, but Billy Miller can't save this show.

Member since:
11 May 2009
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Look at all the people who are former viewers of Y&R or just casual viewers on the Entertainment Weekly site. THEY ARE SHOCKED Victor Newman is leaving!!!!! DC bloggers and other soap sites do NOT represent the majority, as some like to think.

Member since:
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This is a huge loss for the show. Not good for the daytime soap genre either.

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This show can't afford to lose EB. MAB and Co. need to do whatever it takes to make this right. Victor Newman is the face of Y&R. He is the signature character of the show. Nobody is more known and more valuable than EB. There is not more iconic role than Victor Newman. Outside of maybe Erica Kane. All this talk about gloom and doom surrounding Y&R will come true if Victor Newman is written out for good because it would be a huge loss in so many ways beyond just ratings. I know that EB isn't going to work forever, but he should be allowed to go out on his own terms, at least that would be acceptable to long time viewers. Could you imagine "Dallas", without JR. Ewing? That is how I feel about Y&R, minus Victor Newman. He can't be replaced. He is not expendable. As the star of the show, he deserves better than this, and has every right to be pissed off. With all due respect to MTS and JW, the show could've survived without Nikki and Jill, but it's not ready for the loss of Victor.

TmontyB's picture
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Great post, Yrsoapfan1985. I know a lot of people who do have not clue what DC is, do not read soap blogs or even pick up the soap magazines at all,but they love their soaps.

I agree with you. At lot people will tune out once the realize EB is off the show. I also agree that people need to stop attacking him. Your analogy about people's bosses asking them to take pay cuts is a good one.

IMO, although, Y&R is #1, it's by far not the best show on right now and they will gag if Days of Our Lives, GH or even B&B overtake them in ratings.

Mike Jubinville's picture
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I know people who don't even know soaps are still on the air, so I get your point Yrsoapfan1985.

Sometimes it's hard to keep perspective in being a soap fan for so long. I realize as I get older that lots of viewers are too young to have watched Luke and Laura on General Hospital, once the pinnacle of soap fandom. I've been watching soaps since 1979, so when asked if a show can survive the hit of losing a popular actor I tend to believe they can because they have been on the air for decades. I have had to let go of my old view of the genre in this new age. The truth is, the world is different. Icons ain't what they used to be.

EB is may be right when he says he was pushed out the door. Millions of unemployed people can tell you the same story. Corporate America seems to value the money made to pay off its shareholders and board members and if EB doesn't fit into that plan, well then, it's bye bye Victor Newman.

The worst part of it is the actor and character do not get the proper send off they deserve. Victor, like Nikki and Jill, get sent away with the possibility of not returning. It's not fair to the actor, the character or the fans.

I can't speak for my co-peeps here at DC, but storyline and acting are two different things entirely. The Y&R actors may not like the stories they are given to play, but for the most part, they act the hell out of them, which is what they are supposed to do. When I pick a Performer of the Week or Honorable Mention, I make sure that I am watching the acting and nothing else.

Smitty's picture
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I know I will have an unpopular opinion but I personally don't feel he should take the paycut. That's just my opinion. I didn't want MTS to take it and I can't say EB should take it. They both are the STARS of Y&R and are the reason many fans have stuck with this show through thick and thin.

Ok here's why I say EB shouldn't take the paycut. There are so MANY, IMO, useless characters that should go before you make the top tier stars take the cuts. I'm sorry we all know there are a handful of individuals on that show that can go and wouldn't be missed by many. (i.e. Jeff, Gloria, Jana, Philip, Amber, Deacon) I love some of those characters that I mentioned (Amber & Deacon) but they should be asked to leave if we are tight on budget. Especially if we are trying to save these soaps getting the vets to leave isn't the way to do it. See Guiding Light for why it won't work. Guiding Light did it and look where it is now. My own Grandmother wants to see a Y&R with Nikki, Victor, Jack, Katherine and all her old faves and not Adam, Abby, Gloria, Jeff, and Jana. I'm sorry if Y&R keeps doing this to their vets then it will ultimately end up the same fate as Guiding Light.

AlistairCrane's picture
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I'm so annoyed with this guy. He needs to shut the bleep up. I think we're all getting sick about hearing about this.

season1217's picture
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yrsoapfan, I did READ the article. Again, did he just think the same thing that happened to Melody wouldn't happen to him because he's Eric Braeden?

I'm not saying that Sony is 100% right but when you compare it to the way Deidre Hall was fired without even being offered the option to take a pay cut or the way it was leaked that Susan Lucci took a significant pay cut when, at least, Melody was allowed to claim that "she did it her way" in her negotiations Sony has definitely shown more respect to the actors of this show.

And in no way do I go around believing that my opinion is the majority. If anything I humbly believe that ALL my opinions are of the minority. But I think maybe you should humble yourself as well in claiming that you know what most of Y&R's fans are going to do if Eric is written out permanently. And how long are DAYS viewers waiting until they figure that Marlena ain't coming back?

And would I be okay if my boss decided to cut my pay or not honor my contract? Well, first how much was I making before the pay cut? Many people have to make adjustments to how they live their lives because of the economy, even soap stars. Also, as an actor there is always the risk of not having a job the next day so actors have to be smart about whatever economy they do receive. Soap actors know that when they sign a contract that they have more of an obligation to their bosses than their bosses have to them. I know if I was fired tomorrow I wouldn't get as much as a complimentary fruit basket but if the President of the company had to resign, even if he was absolutely inept, he'd leave with a pretty package he could probably retire on.

Member since:
3 March 2009
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Many people thought that Days of Our Lives wouldn't be anything with Deidre and Drake. In two months it will be exactly one year since their exits. Instead of going backwards, Days is actually doing some good stuff. Except for the Bo/Hope, Carly crap.

Now Eric thinks he is bound to Y&R because he is "The Great Victor Newman" (TGVN). Now who gives a crap? I certainly dont! At least Eric's exit is not permanent and he still have a job while Deidre and Drake are unemployed. Eric is beginning to sound like a cry baby while trying to get the support of the viewers. Well this viewer dont give a rats ass if he is on screen or not. So CBS/Sony do what you have to do!

Member since:
22 January 2008
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Fact: Y&R's licensing fee was cut so drastically that it very well may not be renewed at the end of it's deal with CBS. So, for everyone who says stars shouldn't take the cut, how preytell do these shows stay on the air if they still have to pay astromical salaries from days gone bye when soap's were cash cows?

Smitty's picture
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Yeah i know the licensing fees have been cut but I still stand by my previous statements.

Are the stars going to have to take a paycut? Yes.

Do I agree with it? No.

Like I said before, I think we need to TRIM these casts down and then ask these stars to take paycuts. I'm sorry that is what they need to do. Get rid of some of this dead weight on these shows and then I can see us asking EVERYONE to take the paycuts. I just feel you have to be strategic about it.

As some of you at DC have said "soaps are going to die" anyways so does it really matter who does and doesn't take a paycut?

Coffee_Junkie's picture
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30 March 2009
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Braeden needs to shut his pie hole. The man knew what he was getting into when he SIGNED a contract that contained the 26-week cycle he keeps crying and complaining about. He obviously thought he would be exempt from that rule.

People aren't getting it when they say "fire the newbies" so that EB can be spared. First off, the newbies are WORTH what they are getting paid, EB is not worth 2 million dollars a year. I'm sorry--but he's just not. Maybe in 1985 he was worth that, but not anymore. Secondly, firing all the newbies won't BEGIN to cover the cash problem.

I'm hoping and praying Braeden is GONE FOR GOOD. If a bunch of viewers who think he's is God's gift to Y&R leave with him then so be it--they're not true fans of the show, anyway. I can think of just as many fans who would start watching again because they've heard he's left.

thecourt99's picture
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30 April 2009
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I don't believe that it is accurate to compare DAYS losing Deidre Hall with Y&R losing EB. From what I understand, DAYS pushed these actors to the back and put other actors to the forefront. As a result, losing those veterans didn't hurt much because they weren't seen anyway and weren't integral to any current storylines.

On Y&R, however EB has had front burner status for ever. The role of Victor Newman is what motivates the character of Jack Abbott, Nicki Newman, Victoria, Nick...etc. The reality is, if the writers were good...and if they had been planning for EB to leave, they should have planned for the future.

Regarding the pay cut, yes...he should take the cut, but at the end of his contract in 2010. Seems to me, TPTB aren't budgeting well and are using the end of the cycle as a way to recover costs. Not sure who is handling their finances, but "assuming" that an actor would be okay with doing this at the end of the cycle should require a Plan B. They are thinking of the money that they may not have to pay EB today...they should also be thinking of the viewers (and advertisers if enough viewers leave) that may leave if EB leaves and determine the value of that.

thecourt99's picture
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30 April 2009
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Also...I understand that the cycle came as a part of the contract, however for years, the actors were moving forward in good faith that the clause would not be evoked. As a matter of fact, I don't know if it ever has been evoked before these recent years.

I am sure that if I looked closely at many contracts there is verbiage that would piss people off if it were invoked. Just saying....fine print always exists - but is sometimes overlooked when there is a level of trust, respect, and history. This has all been destroyed.

Member since:
3 March 2009
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Firing the newbies will not cover the salaries of people like EB, MTS and others. The newbies salaries doesn't add up to what those guys earn. So talking about firing newbies doesn't make sense.

Member since:
22 January 2008
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Because it's a business, that's why they should take the cut. What sense does it make to pay people the same amount of money they made when the show was at a 4.5, when a million less people are watching. As a fan, sure it would be great if they could all stay millionaires, but I am sorry, that isn't realistic. And getting rid of newbies won't work.  They can hire 10 people for what Eric makes, and by contrast, if they did trim the cast, they'd have to work the vetsfive days a week, with no outs, and they would balk. Trimming salaries is the only way to keep the show profitable. Susan Lucci is a much bigger star than Eric, and she took a sizeable cut.

Member since:
22 January 2008
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This clause is nothing new. They have been doing this for years, maybe not to superstars, but soaps have always used the 13 or 26 week out clause. I feel as if Iam in some weird dream, where people are acting as if they've never seen or heard of this phrase. It is used ALL the time. How do you think, when an actor just signed a contract the year before, then are suddenly fired, that transpires? Soaps are an ensemble. Y&R does not start and stop with EB. I was pissed that DAYS didn't offer Dee and Drake the option to take a pay cut, Eric got that option. They want to keep him, but they also want to stay in business and make a profit. With Y&R hovering just above a 3.5 most weeks they can't pay people what they one did.

Member since:
22 January 2008
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All across this country, people are struggling to pay their electric bill, who is supposed to have sympathy for soap stars because instead of say 2 million, they might have to make one million a year? Not I says the cat!

Smitty's picture
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30 March 2009
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Because it's a business, that's why they should take the cut. What sense does it make to pay people the same amount of money they made when the show was at a 4.5, when a million less people are watching.

***

Ok so say EB takes a paycut AGAIN. Then Y&R's next renewal comes and the licensing fee gets slashed AGAIN. Should EB have to take another paycut? When is it ok for an actor to refuse a paycut, without them be ridiculed about it?

Do I like actors/actresses making millions and millions of dollars when I don't? Of course not. Shot we all want to make millions but most of us won't. Athletes make millions and millions and I don't like that either, but it's just the way the cookie crumbles.

Yes I know we are all on this bandwagon that if one does then everyone should. Well Susan Lucci's shows rating are a lot less than EB's show.

Smitty's picture
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30 March 2009
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This clause is nothing new. They have been doing this for years, maybe not to superstars, but soaps have always used the 13 or 26 week out clause. I feel as if Iam in some weird dream, where people are acting as if they've never seen or heard of this phrase.

***

I've been reading about soapstars and their contracts for years so I'm not surprised by the clause. I know it exist and it doesn't surprise me. I think that is a useless argument for EB to make. Being an actor on a soap you know this. heck I am sure he has watched many of his former costars get the axe because of this clause.

Smitty's picture
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30 March 2009
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Jamey now you know I usually agree with you but on this one we will have to agree to disagree.

I still don't think EB should take the paycut and since he didn't he is standing in the UNEMPLOYMENT line like millions and millions of Americans...LOL

I have my MTS on the show so all is PERFECT in the Y&R soap world for me. LOL...now let's talk about who she should be paired with next...

Nikki and Jack reunion anyone?

Member since:
1 May 2009
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3 years 7 weeks

While I'm not familiar with these 13 or 26 week out clauses, I would think that these would be more intended for less tenured actors than long term stars. I'm willing to bet that Melody wasn't negotiating any 26 week cycle paycut, but rather her 2 or 3 year contract cycle. She didn't say anything because her husband is one of the producers of the show, and it would have been terribly crass of her to do so. She also negotiated her contract successfully. I think that EB is feeling pushed out, as Victor's character has been made so dark that fans are calling for him to die, instead of Colleen, and he is being held responsible for so much of the bad that has happened on the show, including, being inappropriately held responsible for not stopping MJ/Patti's stalking of Ashley, and even (indirectly) for his own grand-daughter's near death. This is what I think that Braeden is upset about. He seems to be feeling, as do the fans---how do you redeem Victor? Has he not gone too far this time, and can't be forgiven in the eyes of the everyday fan? That is what truly hurts. What a sad way to have to go into retirement.