WOWSER: Victoria Rowell Enlists National Urban League in Fight Against Y&R, Sony!



Touch, Lord. It looks like Victoria Rowell (ex-Drucilla, The Young and the Restless) has new allies in her diversity fight against her former soaping ground, as well as its parent company Sony. According to the Los Angeles Sentinel, the National Urban League has sent letters to Y&R and Sony regarding the lack of diversity in front of and behind the camera at the soap, which has benefitted from a large black audience for decades.

According to the article, Sony and Y&R never responded to the League’s letters, however the newspaper obtained the following statement from Jim Kennedy, executive vice president for Global Communications at Sony Pictures Entertainment:
 

With regard to ‘The Young and the Restless,’ we are proud of the fact that five African American actors play important roles on the program, and we are especially grateful for the diverse audience it has every day.”



Um, yeah, apparently no one at Sony is watching Y&R, since the black characters—save for Lily (Christel Khalil)— are only shown once or twice a month at best.

Kennedy added this about steps Sony has supposedly taken to address the problem:

And in light of that, Sony Pictures has over the course of the past year undertaken an initiative designed to have us be more representative of the global audience we work to entertain.

Sigh. Does it really require an "initiative"? Just freaking WRITE A STORY FOR KRISTOFF FREAKIN’ ST. JOHN, BRYTON JAMES AND JULIA PACE-MITCHELL! Namaste.

CBS gave the following statement for the article:

We have great respect for Victoria Rowell, but strongly disagree with her statements about diversity. CBS is very committed to diversity and inclusiveness throughout the company – including Daytime, where we feature diverse talent in all programming.

Yep, except for in the writing room or when hiring producers, directors, etc. CBS also trumpted that tired Diversity Initiative that just serves as a point-to for when issues like this arise. Here’s a thought: Since veteran, daytime writer/director Susan Dansby (Generations, Guiding Light, Port Charles, As The World Turns)—who just so happens to be black—is currently soapless, why not bring her in for an interview, Ri-Ri? According to the article, civil rights leaders are calling for boycotts and demonstrations against the soap. This could all be so easily avoided.

Photo by PR Photos

56 Responses

  1. Avatar of kerfuffles
    kerfuffles

    VR does have some valid points…mixed in with a whole lot of crazy and a whole lot of self-interest.

    I think the National Urban League should express its concerns to Sony and Y&R. I just think it should distance itself as much as possible from VR in doing so. Hitching itself to VR’s crazy is not going to it any favors and will muddle the message.

    For example…how is VR going to justify a boycott against Y&R while at the same time lobbying to get a job from it?

  2. Avatar of henry007
    henry007

    She is like the little boy who cried wolf, no one will pay any attention to her. I like V.R. but it wearing very then. She is an Obama fan his Admin. took a beating yesterday, guess she has to take it out on someone.

  3. Avatar of Restless Vixen
    Restless Vixen

    You have a great point, kerfuffles (I love that handle – reminds me of Little Britain). VR is very polarizing, and a legitimate cause just might get lost in her brand of nutburger. The sad thing is a lot of people put her on ignore because of her brand of foolywang!

  4. Avatar of Restless Vixen
    Restless Vixen

    While VR is likely acting out of her own self-interests, she does have some valid points.

    Those 5 AA actors are rarely on the screen. Even CKLily’s screentime is small compared to the other heavy hitters on the show. Hell, most of these Black actors on the show can’t even get their hair done properly on the set, which is a given for the other actors on the show. Most past and present AA female actors on the show either have someone else do their hair before they arrive on set or wear a wig or fall. You mean to tell me that CBS can’t find NO ONE in Southern California who can do “textured hair”? Textured hair that more likely than not has been relaxed? Bisch please! Maybe it’s because I’m a hair fanatic (and snob), but I think that ranks up there as one of the most bothersome elements of VR’s complaints, a close second to the subpar writing and usage of these “important roles” and actors. Part of the perks of being in TV and movies is having your hair and make-up done by professionals, and these actors are getting the shaft with that one.

    What’s even worse is that latinos and asians are pretty much non-existent in Genoa City. I don’t even remember the last time I saw Rafe.

  5. Avatar of Scooter Smith
    Scooter Smith

    Like me, I think she is too crazy. But I also disagree that “They are only on once or twice a month.” I watch the show online when I can on my lunch breaks. The last 10 or 15 times, I have seen at least one member of the Winters family every time. I think that people are over exaggerating this whole thing, so they don’t have to admit that VR is just plain pissed off that they don’t want to bring her back, and is looking for a reason so she won’t be “the bad guy” in this scenario. I say, go find a Prime Time Soap, ( I loved her on Diagnosis Murder) since her movie career didn’t pan out, and leave Y&R alone.

  6. Avatar of kerfuffles
    kerfuffles

    If VR doesn’t care if they ask her back to the show, why is she always tweeting about wanting to be back on the show and actively supporting petitions/campaigns to get her back on the show? It’s so odd to me.

    Do yourself a favor NUL…don’t get mixed up with VR in this. It will do more harm than good.

  7. Avatar of Jamey Giddens
    Jamey Giddens

    In the last two to three weeks, the Winters have been shown more, along with Leslie. Before that, they were only shown once or twice a month, save for Lily. Whether someone likes Rowell or not, Maria Arena Bell has not written a storyline for Kristoff St. John in six months. She brought on Julia Pace Mitchell and Eddie Winslow to huge fan fare, yet they were barely on in 2010. Someone did an episode count and it was dismal. No one is making this up to be a "bleeding heart liberal." Y&R isn’t writing for their black characters, and Y&R has a predominent audience of older black females. Also they benefitted from Rowell, St. John’s and Shemar Moore’s popularity for a good decade, decade and a half. Almost a million viewers left with Shemar, you would think Maria would want to write for her black cast if nothing else for economic reasons. Just about every second black person you meet "loves them some young and restless" no, that isn’t just because the black actors, blacks love Kay, Victor, Nikki, etc. but you would think the brass would want to write a soap that reflects their audience, if not, you know, the world…

  8. Avatar of Restless Vixen
    Restless Vixen

    [quote]The last 10 or 15 times, I have seen at least one member of the Winters family every time[/quote]
    But it’s not just about quantity, it’s quality. The Winters, and I even include Lily in this (post cancer), are windowdressing in most of the storylines that involve them. Even the Cane SL has involved DG, TR, and even PL more than CK. In the scenes involving the report Cane wrote for Blake, Neil and Sofia are supporting roles in an arc that is centered around Cane. And can you remember the last time Malcolm was on screen before the holidays? Who even knows what Devon is doing. Malcolm and Sofia have been engaged since forever with nary a mention of a wedding, but this show can slap together a quicky wedding for just about any other characters – Bacteria, Shadam, Damber, Kevin/Jana etc. And if Neil is supposed to come between Sofia and Malcolm, then the show needs to get cracking and move that story line the hell along already. Now some of this is true for a lot of characters because the cast is just bursting at the seams with way too many characters as it is. But Neil hasn’t been the center of a story arc in years, and KSJ has been on Y&R since 1991! 20 years people! These newer characters like Ronan, Jana, Daisy (dry heave), etc get more quality SL than a lot of the vets, which happens to include KSJ. And don’t get me started on how the groundbreaking gay and latino character Rafe is not even an afterthought.

    So I cannot agree that these complaints are just a bunch of hooey. VR might be a bunch of hooey, but I can’t just dismiss it because I happen to not care too much for her.

    Yeah – what Jamey said ;-)

  9. Avatar of Jillian Bowe
    Jillian Bowe

    Scooter, let me know what Y&R YOU are watching because like everyone else The Winters family aren’t on that much on the Y&R I watch. I can count how many times the Winters family have been onscreen since 2010 and so can the Y&R viewers. Victoria isn’t making that up, it is plan FACT.

  10. Avatar of alstonboy4315
    alstonboy4315

    Victoria, as usual, you are absolutely right. People often dismiss what Mrs. Rowell has to say, labeling her a loud-mouthed black bitch, or accusing her of being JEALOUS or BITTER because those IDIOTIC HACKS at Y&R won’t ask her back on the show.

    Well, the truth of the matter is that Victoria Rowell should consider herself truly blessed and highly favored that they haven’t asked her back!! Why should she be on a show where she has to BEG for storyline crumbs???? She’s FAR too good to be forced to play out the SHODDILY WRITTEN garbage of Maria Bell. Nor should she be forced to contend with Barbara Bloom (who truly seems to have NO real sense of creativity or vision when it comes to being a leader!) or Paul Rauch’s racist (two steps away from dementia!) behind!!

    All she’s fighting for is DIVERSITY. And diversity is NOT a few anemic/pitifully cast black actors only receiving three or four lines of dialogue a month!! It’s well-written scripts for EVERYONE and EQUAL treatment of black characters!!! Maria wouldn’t know how to write decent dialogue/stories for black folks if she had Mara Brock Akil standing over her shoulder dictating her every word!!!

    This will NOT be an easy fight since daytime seems afraid to write for black characters. They either feel the need to write them as stereotypical cliches or they fail to find effective ways to integrate them into the rest of the cast!! Either way, I hope that positive change happens soon!!!
    But with Maria at the wheel, all we can really do is PRAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    SMDH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  11. Avatar of Marcelle
    Marcelle

    I didn’t plan on going on a fact finding mission today, but I just needed to drop some numbers to factually support, and provide proof that the AA actors/characters on Y&R are shown very little on this show, even Christel Khalil. Yes, her too. I’m not even necessarily fan of hers, but her episode count is as low as all the other brown folks on the cast.

    She may have been front burner at one point, and with Kangaroo Ken’s secrets set to be revealed, she might become front burner again (I use the word might, because that story line really has nothing to do with Lily, but is more about Cane, Colin, Blake, now even Jill), but she isn’t currently.

    Lily is the one brown character folks like to trot out and say, ‘hey she gets screentime,’ but look at these numbers:

    December 2010 Episode Rankings
    A total of 21 episodes aired this month.

    . Christel Khalil (Lily Ashby) 4

    . Julia Pace Mitchell (Sofia Dupré) 3

    . Darius McCrary (Malcolm Winters) 2

    . Kristoff St. John (Neil Winters) 1

    Contract actor not appearing this month:

    . Bryton James (Devon Hamilton)

    http://boards.soapoperanetwork.com/topic/38638-yr-episode-counts/

    So now, maybe you’re thinking to yourself, ‘that was just a low month for the Winters and co.’ Well, think again. Check these episode count numbers for the YEAR of 2010:

    2010 Episode Rankings
    A total of 252 episodes aired during this period.

    28. Kristoff St. John (Neil Winters) 66

    29. Christel Khalil (Lily Ashby) 64

    38. Darius McCrary (Malcolm Winters) 39

    47. Bryton James (Devon Hamilton) 20

    *. Julia Pace Mitchell (Sofia Dupré) 20

    http://boards.soapoperanetwork.com/topic/38638-yr-episode-counts/

    There you have it folks. The numbers don’t lie. None of these people currently or, nor have been for the last year, front burner. Not even Christel Khalil/Lily really gets screentime.

    If we’re all in agreement that KSJ has been backburned since forever, then it stands to reason that CK, who has a lower yearly episode count than he does, has been backburned to.

    Maria has worked her screen trickery to get people to think certain characters get more screen time than they actually do.

    NONE of the brown peeps on this cast have anything to sing about, because they’re all in a bad place.

    Just thought I’d give you all some numbers to consider, when you’re posting your replies.

  12. Avatar of emblazoned
    emblazoned

    I find this completely hypocritical. If the National Urban League is going to get involved in VR’s fight against Y&R, then they should also be writing letters to every show on television that does not give equal airtime to their minority cast members. Where is the letter to One Life to Live about the misuse and firing of their black actors? Or how about Days of Our Lives where Lexie is a mere prop at the hospital and Abe may as well be considered an extra?

    And even aside from daytime, how about all those main black characters on shows like Brothers & Sisters and Modern Family? Oh wait – there aren’t any.

    My point here is not that there isn’t a huge problem with a lack of diversity on television – because there is. My point is that Victoria Rowell is using this issue as a front to get herself back on daytime television, and the National Urban League is buying into it and unjustly targeting one single show. And now boycotts and demonstrations against Y&R?!? If I were to truly boycott television shows for their lack of diversity, I wouldn’t even turn on the television.

  13. Avatar of kerfuffles
    kerfuffles

    I really don’t think many viewers disagree that the show lacks diversity–not based on the number of AA characters they have but by how TPTB the use them, which is not much. I support the UAL in its efforts.

    I just think it is going to shoot itself in the proverbial foot if it associates itself with VR in doing so. She gives opponents a LOT of ammunition to use against the UAL’s efforts and distract from the real issue at hand.

  14. Avatar of thecourt99
    thecourt99

    It would be interesting to see how far this goes. It would be even more interesting to see exactly when the NUL began sending these notes to Sony and CBS.

    What’s funny is the wording in the responses.

    5 African American actors who play important roles – Important to whom? You can easily do an episode tally from the last 2 years and clearly see who has the important roles…and none of them are AA.

    Why do people assume that it is blacks only when we discuss diversity? How many Asian and Hispanic actors are there Y&R?

    And does anyone find the response from CBS rather comical? “We have great respect for Victoria Rowell, but strongly disagree with her statements about diversity. CBS is very committed to diversity and inclusiveness throughout the company – including Daytime, where we feature diverse talent in all programming.”

    CBS as a whole is committed to diversity THROUGHOUT THE COMPANY, and Daytime FEATURES DIVERSE TALENT? Isn’t that admitting that there is no diversity behind the scenes in daytime, meaning it is not diverse throughout the company?

  15. Avatar of debbie
    debbie

    [quote=Scooter Smith]Like me, I think she is too crazy. But I also disagree that “They are only on once or twice a month.” I watch the show online when I can on my lunch breaks. The last 10 or 15 times, I have seen at least one member of the Winters family every time. I think that people are over exaggerating this whole thing, so they don’t have to admit that VR is just plain pissed off that they don’t want to bring her back, and is looking for a reason so she won’t be “the bad guy” in this scenario. I say, go find a Prime Time Soap, ( I loved her on Diagnosis Murder) since her movie career didn’t pan out, and leave Y&R alone.[/quote]

    Y&R Episode Count for Dec 2010:

    December 2010 Episode Rankings
    A total of 21 episodes aired this month.

    1. Michelle Stafford (Phyllis Newman) 17
    2. Sharon Case (Sharon Collins) 16
    *. Michael Muhney (Adam Newman) 16
    4. Joshua Morrow (Nick Newman) 14
    5. Peter Bergman (Jack Abbott) 12
    *. Greg Rikaart (Kevin Fisher) 12
    *. Yvonne Zima (Daisy Carter) 12
    8. Michael Graziadei (Daniel Romalotti) 11
    *. Emily O’Brien (Jana Hawkes) 11
    10. Christian LeBlanc (Michael Baldwin) 10
    11. Tracey E. Bregman (Lauren Baldwin) 9
    *. Elizabeth Hendrickson (Chloe Mitchell) 9
    *. Jess Walton (Jill Fenmore) 9
    14. Samantha Bailey (Summer Newman) 8
    *. Eric Braeden (Victor Newman) 8
    *. Billy Miller (Billy Abbott) 8
    *. Maura West (Diane Jenkins) 8
    18. Jeff Branson (Ronan Malloy) 7
    *. Angell Conwell (Leslie Michaelson) 7
    *. Amelia Heinle (Victoria Abbott) 7
    *. Marcy Rylan (Abby Newman) 7
    22. Tristan Rogers (Colin Atkinson) 6
    *. Melody Thomas Scott (Nikki Newman) 6
    24. Judith Chapman (Gloria Bardwell) 5
    *. Jeanne Cooper (Katherine Chancellor) 5
    *. Daniel Goddard (Cane Ashby) 5
    *. Luke Kleintank (Noah Newman) 5
    *. Eden Riegel (Heather Stevens) 5
    29. Eileen Davidson (Ashley Abbott) 4
    *. Christel Khalil (Lily Ashby) 4
    *. Paul Leyden (Blake Joseph) 4
    *. Garrett Ryan (Kyle Abbott) 4
    33. Sean Kanan (Deacon Sharpe) 3
    *. Julia Pace Mitchell (Sofia Dupré) 3
    *. Stephen Nichols (Tucker McCall) 3
    *. Laura Stone (Skye Newman) 3
    *. Robbie Tucker (Fen Baldwin) 3
    38. Michael Badalucco (Mark Hogan) 2
    *. Beth Maitland (Traci Connolly) 2
    *. Darius McCrary (Malcolm Winters) 2
    *. Max Page (Reed Hellstrom) 2
    *. Ted Shackelford (Jeffrey Bardwell) 2
    43. Jennifer Birmingham (Alison) 1
    *. Tricia Cast (Nina Webster) 1
    *. Signy Coleman (Hope Wilson) 1
    *. Doug Davidson (Paul Williams) 1
    *. Yani Gellman (Rafe Torres) 1
    *. Kate Linder (Esther Valentine) 1
    *. Raya Meddine (Sabrina Newman) 1
    *. Kristoff St. John (Neil Winters) 1

    Contract actor not appearing this month:
    Bryton James (Devon Hamilton)

    I don’t know how to highlight or bold on this site but note the number of appearances for the people of color. Lily had 4 appearances, Sofia had 3, Malcolm had 2 and Neil had 1.Devon wasn’t even on at all and roxy isn’t even mentioned. Rafe, the only other non-white person on the cast (he’s hispanic) was also only on once. No, people are not “over exaggerating.”

    SOURCE OF ALL DATA: Soapoperanetwork.com

  16. Avatar of thecourt99
    thecourt99

    @Emblazoned, I understand your point, but NUL can only go where people take them.

    As far as Y&R is concerned, VR has an internal perspective. The only way what NUL should go to other shows is if someone makes a complaint. That is how it all starts. There are many things wrong in this world, but nothing will change until someone decides to make a fuss. No one else is doing so out of fear…VR is blowing the whistle on Y&R because she ain’t scurred.

    Women get paid less than men just about everywhere..but that will never change at every company unless someone speaks up. They can’t go to the set of B&S and complain about the lack of diversity when they don’t have details or proof. VR gave them that for Y&R.

  17. Avatar of ranger1rg
    ranger1rg

    just more evidence that victoria rowell is obsessed — and crazy.

    going after one soap, let alone one television show??? crazy and absurd.

    and jamey, if you want to make a point about blacks on y&r, separate your point from victoria rowell. your message gets lost in her drama-filled online crusade to bring down y&r.

    she’s delusional — she does all this, yet still expects them to hire her back.

  18. Avatar of ranger1rg
    ranger1rg

    just more evidence that victoria rowell is obsessed — and crazy.

    going after one soap, let alone one television show??? crazy and absurd.

    and jamey, if you want to make a point about blacks on y&r, separate your point from victoria rowell. your message gets lost in her drama-filled online crusade to bring down y&r.

    she’s delusional — she does all this, yet still expects them to hire her back.

  19. Avatar of debbie
    debbie

    And to show that december wasn’t an anomaly, here’s the episode count for the whole year:

    2010 Episode Rankings
    A total of 252 episodes aired during this period.

    1. Eric Braeden (Victor Newman) 172
    2. Peter Bergman (Jack Abbott) 159
    3. Michelle Stafford (Phyllis Newman) 145
    4. Joshua Morrow (Nick Newman) 143
    5. Michael Muhney (Adam Newman) 139
    6. Sharon Case (Sharon Collins) 137
    7. Billy Miller (Billy Abbott) 132
    8. Amelia Heinle (Victoria Abbott) 120
    9. Christian LeBlanc (Michael Baldwin) 119
    10. Eileen Davidson (Ashley Abbott) 107
    11. Elizabeth Hendrickson (Chloe Mitchell) 99
    12. Melody Thomas Scott (Nikki Newman) 88
    13. Jeanne Cooper (Katherine Chancellor) 87
    *. Greg Rikaart (Kevin Fisher) 87
    15. Tracey E. Bregman (Lauren Baldwin-84/Sara Smythe-21) 86
    16. Jess Walton (Jill Fenmore) 80
    17. Doug Davidson (Paul Williams) 78
    18. Emily O’Brien (Jana Hawkes) 76
    19. Stephen Nichols (Tucker McCall) 74
    20. Daniel Goddard (Cane Ashby) 73
    21. John Driscoll (Chance Chancellor) 71
    22. Marcy Rylan (Abby Newman) 70
    23. Michael Graziadei (Daniel Romalotti) 69
    *. Stacy Haiduk (Patty Williams-57/Emily Peterson-42) 69
    *. Thad Luckinbill (J.T. Hellstrom) 69
    *. Eden Riegel (Heather Stevens) 69
    27. Clementine Ford (Mackenzie Browning) 68
    28. Kristoff St. John (Neil Winters) 66
    29. Christel Khalil (Lily Ashby) 64
    30. Yvonne Zima (Daisy Carter) 63
    31. Laura Stone (Skye Newman) 59
    32. Albie Selznick (Owen Pomerantz) 50
    33. Jeff Branson (Ronan Malloy) 47
    34. Wilson Bethel (Ryder Callahan) 44
    35. Judith Chapman (Gloria Bardwell) 43
    36. Tricia Cast (Nina Webster) 42
    37. Michael Fairman (Patrick Murphy) 41
    38. Darius McCrary (Malcolm Winters) 39
    *. Sean Young (Meggie McClaine) 39
    40. Max Page (Reed Hellstrom) 37
    41. Samantha Bailey (Summer Newman) 32
    42. Sean Kanan (Deacon Sharpe) 31
    43. Maura West (Diane Jenkins) 25
    44. Lauralee Bell (Christine Blair) 22
    45. Yani Gellman (Rafe Torres) 21
    *. Ted Shackelford (Jeffrey Bardwell) 21
    47. Bryton James (Devon Hamilton) 20
    *. Kevin McCorkle (Sid Meeks) 20
    *. Julia Pace Mitchell (Sofia Dupré) 20
    *. Eric Roberts (Vance Abrams) 20
    51. Adrienne Frantz (Amber Moore) 19
    52. Kate Linder (Esther Valentine) 18
    53. Garrett Ryan (Kyle Abbott) 17
    54. Beth Maitland (Traci Connolly) 15
    *. Kevin Schmidt (Noah Newman) 15
    56. Vail Bloom (Heather Stevens) 14
    *. Luke Kleintank (Noah Newman) 14
    *. Paul Leyden (Blake Joseph) 14
    *. Robbie Tucker (Fen Baldwin) 14
    60. Thom Bierdz (Phillip Chancellor III) 11
    *. Hayley Erin (Abby Carlton) 11
    *. William Russ (Tucker McCall) 11
    63. Jonas Fisch (Kent Grazier) 10
    *. Tonya Lee Williams (Olivia Winters) 10
    65. Michael Badalucco (Mark Hogan) 8
    66. Tatyana Ali (Roxanne) 7
    *. Angell Conwell (Leslie Michaelson) 7
    68. Kanin Howell (Frank Ellis) 6
    *. Beau Kazer (Brock Reynolds) 6
    *. Vanessa Marano (Eden Gerick) 6
    *. Tristan Rogers (Colin Atkinson) 6
    72. Caroline Aaron (Jo-Jo) 5
    *. Jennifer Birmingham (Alison) 5
    *. Gregory Franklin (Morgan Belford) 5
    *. David Hasselhoff (Snapper Foster) 5
    *. Don Swayze (Shaw Roberts) 5
    77. Julianna McCarthy (Liz Foster) 4
    78. Corbin Bernsen (Todd Williams) 3
    *. Signy Coleman (Hope Wilson) 3
    *. Wings Hauser (Greg Foster) 3
    81. Jerry Douglas (John Abbott) 2
    *. Susan Seaforth Hayes (Joanna Manning) 2
    *. Susan Walters (Diane Jenkins) 2
    84. Camryn Grimes (Cassie Newman) 1
    *. Clyde Kusatsu (Dr. Dennis Okamura) 1
    *. John Rubinstein (Dr. Charles Taylor) 1
    *. Raya Meddine (Sabrina Newman) 1

  20. Avatar of Restless Vixen
    Restless Vixen

    Thank you Marcelle and debbie for backing this up with the numbers. I was too lazy to dig for it :-)

    I do agree this should go beyond VR’s personal beefs. I do think ALL of the soaps should be called out for lack of diversity. It’s not just Y&R – and the NUL should make sure they are getting involved for the right reasons, and not just because VR is a squeaky wheel. I would also agree it’s not even just Daytime – but with primetime I vote with my remote and don’t watch much network TV in the evening at all.

  21. Avatar of kerfuffles
    kerfuffles

    My point here is not that there isn’t a huge problem with a lack of diversity on television – because there is. My point is that Victoria Rowell is using this issue as a front to get herself back on daytime television, and the National Urban League is buying into it and unjustly targeting one single show. And now boycotts and demonstrations against Y&R?!? If I were to truly boycott television shows for their lack of diversity, I wouldn’t even turn on the television.

    I agree that if VR’s top priority was diversity on Y&R–rather than diversity that involved her as a cast member–she would step aside and let the UAL fight this fight without her name so prominently attached to it.

    I mean how can anybody buy a boycott with VR’s name attached to it when she has said over and over again how she wants back on the show? Is she going to tell everybody “do as I say, not as I do”? Or is she going to say “just boycott it until I get a job there…then they have enough diversity?” And I can’t imagine many of her comment about CK not being “REALLY black are going to fly very well with member of UAL that are themselves of mixed race. I know I sure the hell didn’t appreciate her comments in that regard.

  22. Avatar of appleridge
    appleridge

    Im Giving VR The Benefit Of The Doubt. She May Seem Crazy To some But to Be fair We Have Been on Set Of YR With Her

    The stats Of Episodes also show what she says to be true

    Plus If This works at YR maybe things will change at the other shows. Its Gotta start somewhere

  23. Avatar of Jillian Bowe
    Jillian Bowe

    TheCourt: That has ALWAYS been DC’s point with diversity. Not just blacks, but minorities in general. On Y&R, Jack has an ASIAN son we’ve never seen again. Paul has an HISPANIC son but when’s the last time he’s been mentioned? When’s the last time we’ve seen Kelly Lee on GH?

  24. Avatar of thecourt99
    thecourt99

    I just read the LA Sentinel article, and it seems that other actresses are involved in this issue, and data is being pulled from other shows as well. An actress from OLTL was also mentioned in the article.

    Further, the article seemed to focus on the behind the scenes (producing, writing, etc), rather than the lack of diverse actors.

    In short, I would recommend reading the whole article. This isn’t about just Y&R and this isn’t about just VR. I would say that VR and Y&R are the lynchpins.

  25. Avatar of kerfuffles
    kerfuffles

    I read the post here and I read the article over there. I agree that VR is being used as the lynchpin. And again, I think that’s a bad idea and could make the whole project, which is very valid, lose credibility.

    I know some people familiar with VR’s insanity won’t even read an article with her picture attached to it because she has not credibility anymore or has just turned them off so much. She should not be the lynchpin or face of this movement.

  26. Avatar of dqh257
    dqh257

    Instead of begging for work on a show that doesn’t want her, how about VR go out and audition for other soaps? Has Debbi Morgan returned to AMC? Couldn’t she take over for her on AMC, or a recast Lexie on DAYS? There have to be casting notices that her agent is receiving; why waste your time on some show that doesn’t want her? It’s kind of desperate and pathetic, and dilutes any real message she may have regarding diversity.

  27. Avatar of Marcelle
    Marcelle

    thecourt99 wrote:I just read the LA Sentinel article, and it seems that other actresses are involved in this issue, and data is being pulled from other shows as well. An actress from OLTL was also mentioned in the article.

    Further, the article seemed to focus on the behind the scenes (producing, writing, etc), rather than the lack of diverse actors.

    In short, I would recommend reading the whole article. This isn’t about just Y&R and this isn’t about just VR. I would say that VR and Y&R are the lynchpins.

    I was coming back to post this exact same thing. People should actually read the entire LA Sentinel article (My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge. SMH).

    Like you said, the article strongly references the lack of behind the scenes diversity (producing, writing, etc), and mentions other actresses speaking up, not just VR.

    They have some interesting quotes from Davetta Sherwood, discussing her time on the show:

    “The experiences that I had with the lack of diversity, the lack of acknowledgement of the Winters family, and just our ethnic background, was really disappointing,” she said.

    Sherwood said people on the show were strategic about choosing her. So, she thought they would treat her “carefully” on the set.

    But “I felt disregarded at times; I felt unappreciated at times,” she said.

    Sherwood said she confided with Rowell, telling her that she felt something was “a little off” on the show.

    “And she shared with me some of the issues she had had in her … years on the show.”

    Sherwood, echoing similar sentiments that Rowell had, said, “There has never been a Black … crew or director or writer in the history of ‘The Young and the Restless.’ So that was really disappointing considering how successful and how profitable the show has been for CBS and the Bell family.”

    Later she added: “Right now … it’s about speaking out and making people aware so that we can create a change right now. There’s no more time to wait. We don’t have 20 more years to revisit this conversation again. This is something that has to happen immediately.”

    And to those who are saying this shouldn’t be just about Y&R, the article says NUL is looking at daytime as a whole.

    The point is, the entire article should be read, before you judge.

  28. Avatar of kerfuffles
    kerfuffles

    Are we really going to pretend that Sherwood’s involvement here is completely unrelated to Rowell?

    I have no problem even if the NUL was just focusing on Y&R or daytime alone. The fight has got to start somewhere.

  29. Avatar of AllmyDaysatGh
    AllmyDaysatGh

    [quote=dqh257]Instead of begging for work on a show that doesn’t want her, how about VR go out and audition for other soaps? Has Debbi Morgan returned to AMC? Couldn’t she take over for her on AMC, or a recast Lexie on DAYS? There have to be casting notices that her agent is receiving; why waste your time on some show that doesn’t want her? It’s kind of desperate and pathetic, and dilutes any real message she may have regarding diversity.[/quote]
    Debbie is not leaving AMC, she is just taking a temporary leave right now for personal reasons. She will be back.

    I would love if VR came to AMC, though. I remember last year she said that she’s talked with the show before. I think AMC would be smart to cast her, maybe as Cassandra’s birth mom who abandoned her? Angie took Cassandra in as a baby after finding her and I don’t think we’ve ever seen the mother. It would be interesting if Cassandra came back home from Paris and the show somehow integrated her mother into things. Cast VR as the mother and Daphnee Duplaix as Cassandra! Something!

  30. Avatar of thecourt99
    thecourt99

    Are we really going to pretend that there isn’t a chance that many minority actress/actors may be friends with or aware of VR? Just because they may know each other, doesn’t negate their claim.

    And again, once you read it, you will see that DS was only an example. Dawn Stern, Ellen Holly, and others were mentioned as well.

  31. Avatar of Ryan-Scott
    Ryan-Scott

    Devon is never on. Neil has no story. I don’t know why Malcolm was brought back as he has no story. I like Julia Pace-Mitchell alot but she has really no story either.

    And I never want to hear any talk about any holiday gravy ever again!

  32. Avatar of jlafferty23
    jlafferty23

    I would like to inform everybody…

    That Bryton James was only on 20 TIMES IN 2010!! 20 TIMES!! That’s ridiculous.

    I do think Victoria Rowell is too much but she has valid points. I want to see the Winter’s family.

    They can give Daisy a story but not an Emmy winner like Kristoff. Whatever MAB!

  33. Avatar of kerfuffles
    kerfuffles

    Are we really going to pretend that there isn’t a chance that many minority actress/actors may be friends with or aware of VR? Just because they may know each other, doesn’t negate their claim.

    And again, once you read it, you will see that DS was only an example. Dawn Stern, Ellen Holly, and others were mentioned as well.

    Please stop assuming I haven’t read the article. I read it before I made my first comment.

    VR has devoted much of her tweeting ranting and raving to Davetta Sherwood. Not just arguing that Sherwood was shafted by TPTB, but going on and on that CK was part of some conspiracy to get rid of her and getting in digs that CK wasn’t really “black” and Davetta was.

    My point is that to try to use DS as an example of how other people unrelated to VR’s…cause, whatever that is…are involved is questionable. Also, the fact that DS’s complaints about Y&R might be called into question because of all the B.S. VR has said about it just further proves my point.

    I completely understand other actors/actresses have expressed their support. I think that is great. But I still stand by my point that having VR as the face/lynchpin of this effort is not a good idea on the part of UAL. VR taints the credibility of an otherwise highly credible cause.

  34. Avatar of Smitty
    Smitty

    I love Victoria Rowell and I am glad she took this to the Urban League.

    If fighting for diversity is wrong then I don’t want to be right! Victoria Rowell I support you 1000% and keep up the fight!

    HATERS TO THE LEFT!

  35. Avatar of BFluellen1
    BFluellen1

    God I love Victoria Rowell even more after this. To make great strides, she has to step on a few toes and if those toes happen to be people on Y&R/Sony/CBS then so be it. Everything she states is true and she has other actresses backing her up in the article. It is a sad day when the #1 soap can’t even write for blacks, gays, Latinos, Asians, and the list goes on. You can’t expect change to happen by sitting back and watching from the cut. Do I think that VR’s strategies in the beginning were correct, not always. And I am getting sick of people saying she is doing this to get back on Y&R b/c VR does not need Y&R. They need her. She does other things to make her paper. She is just standing up and being the voice for those who can’t. We all should praise her instead, some of us tear her down. Do you, VR! Keep on shining the light on all that is wrong in the entertainment industry. She gotta make her start somewhere and why not the place where she experienced racism first hand. I support her all the way! And yes…

    HATERS TO THE LEFT.

  36. Avatar of josser
    josser

    I’m with Jamey, Jillian, & Smitty in supporting Ms. Rowell, Ms. Sherwood, and Ms. Holly. Daytime has a terrible history of screwing over minorities. Y&R deserves a public upbraiding.

    Similarly, why are people also so quick to forget the Big Purge that took place at One Life to Live this year when it dumped minority characters, both black and gay. This wasn’t the first time that OLTL dumped minority characters en masse. Paul Rauch, is infamous for firing OLTL’s whole black cast during the early 1980s.

    Anyone who thinks that Kristof St. John has been treated with respect is a fool. This summer, St. John explained that after appearing on Buzzworthy Radio, Y&R black balled him, denying him storyline and airtime for his agreeing with Ms. Rowell.

    Finally, I find it appalling that people equate Ms. Rowell’s activism with being “crazy.”

  37. Avatar of BG
    BG

    Jamie,

    I am a bleeding heart liberal (LOL) and I applaud this action by the Urban league and VR

    Some people are in deep denial, Y&R has been a disgrace for the AA chracters, since VR and this includes behind the scenes as well.

    In my opinion AMC is the only one on air that at least have storylines for AA characters.

    By the way I love Y&R

  38. Avatar of Restless Vixen
    Restless Vixen

    Prior to going to the NUL, some of VR’s methods were questionable, in my opinion. It did not originally come off as “activism” at all, more like sour grapes and Twitter rage. I don’t think people are “haters” just because they question her methods, especially when she’s talked about Y&R being horrible, then telling fans to petition for her return. Messy! Maybe if she had gone to NUL from the beginning, people wouldn’t be calling her crazy. The reality is that some of the negative opinion of her might cloud the issue. Some people don’t even listen just because it’s her. It’s not right, but crap happens.

    I agree with a lot of what Victoria Rowell is saying, but some of her earlier tactics get the screwface from me.

  39. Avatar of marknsprmo
    marknsprmo

    With the sad state that soaps are in right now and the total lack of talent and imagination behind the scenes, right now might not be the time to petition in front of the camera time. After all look what it got gay people in 2010. We had one show do the usual let’s kill the gay guy off story cause the gays can’t be happy. We had another show simply write out their gay couple. We have yet another soap with a potentially explosive gay couple (HELLO CHILL!) shopping around for these boys some girls to sex with. Why in the hell would ANY minority want to get involved with this hot mess? Do you really want some black grease paint and “yes Miss Scarlett?” and ” yes sir bossman. Right away boss!” Maybe someone can sing Ole Man River or Swannee…. Cause that is what you would likely get.

  40. Avatar of soapster
    soapster

    I am trying to figure out how VR being involved taints this and exactly who considers her crazy some unknown people on the internet, I for one support her and agree with everything she has said and proof is on her side. The National Urban League thought her sane enough to look into the matter and agree with her perspective.

    Regardless ones feelings toward VR the problem that she speaks of exist and calling her nuts isn’t going to make them go away. I am glad that someone has the balls to stand up for diversity in daytime tv a lot of people give lip service but do nothing about it.

    Also about her boycotting and wanting to be back on the show what is wrong with that, wasn’t the most famous boycott in American history done by people wanting to be able to ride on the same buses they were boycotting. Boycotting is about bringing change to what you deem inadequate or wrong, so if boycotting Y&R means VR gets a writing position then she did her job well.

  41. Avatar of Mysterio
    Mysterio

    My take is this on the whole Black-Y/R.

    Victoria Rowell is an artist with passion, what she says is right on. Here is the thing. VR is comming off as angry. The Producers and head writer Maria Arena Bell, are on the defensive all the time publicly. So they see VR as a fly in the ointment.

    Also. MAB seems to me to write from her world view. Lets face it. If Jamey was invited to MAB birthday and dished on DC that the people at the party was basically wall to wall diferent ethnicity, would we not all not gasp in astonishment.

    MAB does not have to deal with people of color except in a limited way. Plus we don’t know how tied her hands are. BBell was a pioneer and he controlled the show. I bet you that the other non Bell entities have more controll than the Bells do.

    Another thing I don’t understand is this. EB as Victor has not really been nominated, neither has Adam and Sharon for the most part. Devon and Neil have both been nominated and won emmeys. What I can’t understand is how does that not resonate with MAB in terms of writing for them.

    I think that VR leaving really shut down. Black Y/R. Just like If Victor left, it would really change the dynamic of Y/R.

    I would say that Y/R problem is balance. Doug Davidson as Paul Williams, the Hero of the show gets shut out as well and he is white.

    Y/R is unbalanced and that is the root problem. Plus to many players on the Canvas. Even when they go to location for ratings. Paris and New Orleans. Storyline it was not compelling. When Paul rescued Lauren in Sanfrancisco in the 80′s. That held more weight story wise.

    Mysterio

  42. Avatar of Mysterio
    Mysterio

    One thing Jamey. Y/R does have the potnetial to become the most Global Soap in terms of diversity. I wonder if they think that the audiance can’t take anything but 90% white characters.

    I heard in a Podcast that you think that you don’t want to see an all black show anyways that the world is more diverese.

    Here is the thing. Most of the enities from producers and writers are white. What do we all expect. It would be great if they could diversify, apprently they don’t. Look at movies today. Other than Will and Denzell most characters in the movies/tv are white.

    I do think that if Soaps could inject more diversity it would be great.

    Can you imagine if Y/R were to trim the fat and replace the dead weight with chracters of gay/latino/Asian/Black.

    Like make the Head police Detective Gay and make him a tough guy like make Ronan gay and put him in a triangle with Rafe. Have an Asian business man stir up trouble for Jack/Tucker/Victor. Imagine if Neil started his own Record company and broke away from Kay/Neman/Abbotts.

  43. Avatar of Scooter Smith
    Scooter Smith

    First, I don’t want to come off as excusing racism. If that is really what is happening here then it should be looked into, and taken care of. However, I don’t think that is what it is. For the last 25 years, I have watched soaps, and I have noticed one constant. Writers are lazy. That sounds mean, but hear me out.

    In every show I have watched, they seem to focus on 3 families at a time. This is usually done decently well, but since each show has at least five families, they ususally making the other two families afterthoughts. And if a character doesn’t have a family, he/she will be hit or miss.

    I remember in the eighties. Paul Williams was a hit or miss character. He would be heavily featured investigating someone, then he would fade away for months, only popping up at a traditional soap gathering. The same thing still happens now.

    Finally, everyone is saying that Y&R should have more diversity, especially since it has a large AA following. That is crap! Should the Cosby show have been forced to have more white regulars, since it was widely watched by white people? No! I am a white man, and I don’t care who is on my screen if its compellingly written. That’s why the outrage over the OLTL purge has died down. Because they have written really good stories, no matter the race of the characters.

    I would love it if the brass would leave it to their writers (some of which write amazing stories for their minorities), but TV is a shell game. They keep moving things around trying to make the pieces fall into place. If the loss of characters caused a significant change to the ratings or massive complaints that was too much to handle, the brass would try to bring them back, or explain their exit.

  44. Avatar of Smitty
    Smitty

    Scooter I’m sorry but you are making excuses for Y&R’s lack of diversity. First you dismissed VR as being crazy because you tuned into Y&R this past month and saw the “minorities” on every time (insert BLANK STARE) when we all know that’s not true. The data was given to you of the appearances by the “minorities” for the month of December and clearly you were living in a false world or watching youtube clips of Y&R because clearly what you saw wasn’t happening on screen.

    It amazes me that people think sexism and racism isn’t a big deal. I guess it’s see no evil, hear no evil as long as it doesn’t affect you. Whether you like VR’s antics or not the facts are facts. You can’t distort the truth.

    If you have followed Daytime Confidential and many of us posters throughout the past year and longer many of us have complained about lack of diversity and we weren’t just talking “black” folks. As was mentioned earlier many of us have called for Paul’s hispanic son to return and Jack’s asian son as well. DC took Y&R to task for it’s SHITTY (excuse my french) handling of the “gay” storyline with Adam/Rafe and then Philip. DC and many of us posters have been consistent with calling for diversity on the soaps. Don’t down play it. it’s disgusting and doesn’t put you in a good light.

  45. Avatar of Smitty
    Smitty

    Further more people can easily say Victoria Rowell is crazy but what about Kristoff St. John and Bryton James? they have done absolutely nothing. they have been “quiet”. They toe the company line and they are given nothing. No storyline at all. Bryton James’ Devon Hamilton hasn’t had a storyline in two years probably longer. It’s a sin and a shame. This man isn’t speaking out and look how he’s being treated. So those who say Victoria Rowell is going about it the wrong way then tell me what is the right way? I’m sure Bryton James and Kristoff St. John would like to know.

    For the actual numbers of appearances for the “black” actors in 2010 let’s not forget that Christel Kahlil was out on maternity leave for a bit too..so she still managed to get almost the same about of appearances as KSJ when she took a maternity leave in there. BRAVO Y&R…BRAVO!

  46. Avatar of Jamey Giddens
    Jamey Giddens

    The Cosby Show was a family sitcom, about one family. They had white recurring characters, Peter, etc., but it was about a family unit. Soaps are about an entire town, supposedly reflecting a microcosm of the world at large. It’s apples and oranges.
     
    I never had a problem about Friends being all-white, because I realized the writers wrote that show about a specific group of six white friends. I didn’t need a token black friend added to love that show, which I did. I also loved Cheers and Frasier and never felt the need to see "diversity" added to those shows, because I fully realize that for much of the country, people are still segregated in their peer and family groups, but on a soap opera, which is supposed to be about a town full of people, I need it to reflect what the world looks like.
    The reason The Cosby Show was so popular was because it finally showed America that (gasp) the black family could be and was just like everyone else. We could achieve extreme success and our teens had the same angst, we weren’t all drawing pictures of Ned the Wino, while living at the Cabrini Green apartments on Good Times and/or being strung out on drugs and being chased down by one of the cops on Hill Street Blues. Would that soap writers finally manage to do the same thing. Simply tell stories for ALL the characters on the canvas. I’m sorry, but Kristoff and Bryton barely being shown is inexcusable.
     
    Bill Bell gave his black characters juicy storylines year in, year out. We saw Dru, Neil, Malcolm, Liv and Nathan go through all of the same sordid, scandalous stories white characters got. Yes, they were on an island most of the time, but the stories were still good. Since Maria Arena Bell took over, we had the Tyra debacle and Neil and Ashley’s aborted romance.She also brough back Malcolm and gave him a "sassy" girlfriend, but then nothing else. This woman needs to be taken to task for this.

  47. Avatar of Jillian Bowe
    Jillian Bowe

    Uh people STILL criticize OLTL for what they’ve done! OLTL doesn’t get raked over the coals like Y&R because they STILL have diverse characters on canvas we see ALL the time. Y&R will always get called out because that was their staple and since Maria Bell has taken over, she’s decided EVERY minority needs to be trotted every month just to satisfy the masses when she’s about to be riped to shreds. It kills me some people can call VR crazy, when the data is show she’s telling the truth, it is STILL brushed aside. Bryton himself went on twitter and called out Y&R for their bull, but quickly erased what he said because he knew how Y&R would punish him like they did KSJ and guess what? THEY DID!

    As for that Cosby show point, that show STILL showed variety and displayed it isn’t all about being a "black family" and we live in a world where it isn’t just ONE groupd of people. It is quite obvious Maria thinks the opposite hence her LACK of storylines for her minorities on her show. Bill Bell displayed the world wasn’t one color when he wrote for that show, and so did LML. Yet when Maria comes on, this is just discarded? That is BULL.

  48. Avatar of Restless Vixen
    Restless Vixen

    [quote]It is a sad day when the #1 soap can’t even write for blacks, gays, Latinos, Asians, and the list goes on.
    ***
    THIS is the heart of the matter.[/quote]
    Agreed. What’s even more interesting is that several years ago, all the soaps were trying to do what Y&R did with the Barbers/Winters – incorporate minorities into the show beyond plot points and window dressing. And it seems that they were making some real effort, some obviously succeeded better than others. But still, I believe almost every soap brought on new characters or expanded minority characters into families, especially in the 90s. What happened? It’s like soaps took a giant step backwards. Did something change that made these showrunners think this was no longer viable? Was it no longer considered “trendy”? Or did they just stop giving a damn on their own steam? I’d honestly like to know. That’s something I’ll never understand, and maybe understanding this is the key to the whole thing. There has been some semblance of effort in the past, but it has fallen by the wayside. And clearly CBS/SONY is aware of this – hence their recent diversity campaign. The Sony mouthpiece was really talking out of both side of his neck with that one.

    Maybe it does make sense that VR, and especially the NUL, is involved as people not directly involved in soaps. Because from what has happened to KSJ, it seems you get penalized for speaking up about wanting more screen time. Which is really a shame. I’ll never understand why they keep him on the soap just to bench him.

  49. Avatar of jlafferty23
    jlafferty23

    You know, I am not the biggest fan of some of Victoria’s actions. But I really do commend her for stepping up to try and change things.

    It’s a damn shame that Bryton James was only on 20 times in 2010, 20 times? Thats how much Eric Braden is on in a month!!

    Kristoff expresses his concerns and they punish him, but when Eric, Peter and Jeanne did, they weren’t punished..

    It just makes me wonder if MAB is freakin racist!!

  50. Avatar of ShadyMcShade
    ShadyMcShade

    Just because she seems ‘crazy’ doesn’t mean her observations and experiences aren’t true.
    Just because a crazy paranoid person believes someone is out to kill them does not mean it is untrue.

    And I think that the people who claims that VR is mudding the message are the one deliberately mudding the real message.

    They choose to ignore the facts presented and try to distract away from the real issue by ignoring the the fact that a real disparity is occurring and instead say: ‘Never mind the injustice, looky here, isn’t that that crazy lady talkin’ again! Hush, let not talk about the issue let’s talk about the ‘crazy lady’!!

  51. Avatar of soapster
    soapster

    First off Scooter Smith you are making excuses for Y&R and lazy writers only focusing on 3 families at a time is about the biggest excuse you can make. If the focus is the only be on a few families or characters at a time they need to be on rotation but when the AA/Latino characters are getting nothing it is more than lazy writers.

    and seriously cosby show, a show that focused on the dynamics of one family is your example of a show not having many white characters when 90% of television show the exact opposite mostly white with little or no minority presence.

    As far as OLTL I still cry foul as do many others do also and no I do not see a fair representation of diversity, the way they treat the characters of Sean and Destiny is on par with Y&R which is why the National Urban League is speaking in regards to daytime soaps as a whole.

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