Victoria Rowell’s Diversity Fight Nabs Soap Opera Weekly Cover Story!



Who says sistahs can’t sell covers? Well, basically everyone who works in the magazine industry, but I’ve never bought that bull ish. Soap Opera Weekly must not be buying that logic either, because not only did they put former The Young and the Restless star Victoria Rowell (ex-Drucilla) on the cover of this week’s issue, but the actress was also interviewed in a full-page, front-of-the-book piece on her diversity fight with Y&R, CBS and Sony.  Here are a few excerpts from the steamy read:

"I saw an inequality from wardrobe to writing to media opprtunities to coverage in magazines. Anytime you’re the whistle blower, or any time that you are the one who’s bringing attention to something that has been practiced, you will be hated and you will be villified," she says."

"I do not enjoy having to change lines to create an authenticity for the black family."



To find out what else Rowell had to say, and what she feels would be the "sweetest justice", pick up the February 1 issue of Soap Opera Weekly on newstands today. 

Photo by PR Photos

17 Responses

  1. Profile photo of alstonboy4315
    alstonboy4315

    I can’t wait for my copy!!

    And she’s absolutely right!!! Daytime should be ashamed of itself for it’s lack of diversity!!!I hope something changes for the better soon!!!! And all you HATERS out there can continue to dismiss Victoria Rowell as a trouble-making, rabble-rousing, instigating, mean-spirited a-hole, but remember, people said the same thing about Malcolm X and Martin Luther King Jr………….

    Just saying!!!

    Keep doing your thing, Victoria. I am right behind you, cheering for your victory!!

  2. Profile photo of Smitty
    Smitty

    I haven’t bought a Soap Opera Weekly in years but I will definitely be in line to get this one! Go Aunt Vicki!

    As a daytime viewer I won’t give up on fighting for diversity and I will be behind VR’s fight to the end!

    One thing that puzzles me is if you go across all six soaps I think the diversity is less than what is was in the 80s and 90s which is sad and tragic.

  3. Profile photo of Restless Vixen
    Restless Vixen

    Now this is going somewhere! The NUL and the cover of Soap Opera Weekly – I’m impressed.

    [quote]One thing that puzzles me is if you go across all six soaps I think the diversity is less than what is was in the 80s and 90s which is sad and tragic.[/quote]
    It really is, Smitty. There were way more minority characters then compared to now across the networks. I would really like TPTB in Daytime to answer why the change. They collectively seem to be going through the motions or not even trying anymore. And CBS/Sony can say all they want to, but the fact that CBS started their diversity initiative last year is proof they know there’s a problem.

  4. Profile photo of marknsprmo
    marknsprmo

    I know that diversity is less than it was in the 80s. I remember Another World and Young and the Restless both had strong black characters in the 80s and early 90s. Another World particularly had some great characters and actors that the audience really liked. In fact Jacquee Harry got her start on AW and went on to star in primetime because of her popularity on AW. A couple more black alum did do too badly elsewhere as well. Morgan Freeman and Joe Morton to name a couple. Unfortunately many of these characters where done in by a constantly changing backstage of writers and producers.
    Later NBC produced the one and only black soap opera Generations. The show suffered from a few things including a terrible time slot. I think over all the lack of success of this program actually hurt minorities in daytime. Young and the Restless had been the most successful at giving black people a voice on daytime but it really was all the eggs in one basket. Yes there were four or five black people but the star was Drucilla. Without her there, the stories didn’t work.

    Other minority groups have fared less well than the black group. Hispanic americans have been best been shown again in the 80s on Santa Barbara. Cruz Castillo was the front and center leading character on the show from the get go. A Martinez and Marcy Walker were the shows heart. There have been a few attempts at hispanic families or roles on other shows but have not been very successful.
    Gays as we all know are the late comers to the party. Barely seen and no story when they were was the party line. Network execs pulling the plug on major gay story lines was the other party line. The few stories that daytime have pulled off, were very slow moving and often went along the wayside. Right now there is one unattached lesbian character on daytime.

    Then there are other groups such as asian americans and people with disabilities. Their records are even spottier.

    I am sure that if you add up all the different diverse groups that watch daytime, they would be the majority of the viewers. The way it is counted now, white women 18-49 are the target and majority. If all the diverse groups got together and formed a unified voice however and not just one group or another, daytime would have to pay more attention. That means black people supporting the handicap, the hispanic saying yeah to the gay, the gay saying whohoo to the asian etc. We support diversity in all measures and not single out any specific group to be raised above the other. Just to give an example Abe and Lexie Carvers little boy on DAYS was diagosed with Autism because the hw wanted to showcase this condition because her child has it. Autism isnt a very sexy condition so the audience and the critical community yawned and the story was backburned.
    This was two groups (black and handicap) that could have banded together and promoted the heck out of the story. Unfortunately noone got on this bandwagon.

  5. Profile photo of ConqueringBlue
    ConqueringBlue

    For all of the flack that Passions got, it was most definitely the most diverse soap on the air, with two of the four major families being black and hispanic. And JER managed to write front burner storylines for all of them.

    Sometimes I really miss Passions. Not the Passions halfway through the soap’s run, but the Passions in the beginning. It was kooky, but damn was it fun.

  6. Profile photo of Luke
    Luke

    Agree with you ConqueringBlue on Passions as far as the diversity and just how it before it got out of hand, it was a fun watch.

    What’s sad is just the half-ass commitment the PTB tend to have. Characters/actors of their own persuasion will get chance after chance to succeed. If a black/asian/latino/etc… actor doesn’t take off immediately, they give up

  7. Profile photo of Toscanti
    Toscanti

    I’ve said it before and will say it again. VR has a poor way of delivering her message. She is not going to be happy no matter what. Y&R has recently added an amazingly talented black writer that her works speak for themself. She gets daytime and understands writing. VR opted to leave Y&R not the other way around. Now that she has realized she was being brat like she wants to go back and TPTB don’t want her nor do he EX- COWORKERS and who would blame them. If she has an issue with a co-worker the mature way to handle that is one on one but she only understands blasting her side to the public and media. This saddens me as she is a great talent herself. Never burn a bridge and it is only my opinion but I think she has imploded this one. Wish she would find a better way to get her concerns accross, concerns I feel are legitimate just poorly delivered. I still say recast Drucilla with an amazing new talent.

  8. Profile photo of alstonboy4315
    alstonboy4315

    Victoria Rowell IS Drucilla. I would never accept a recast in this role, personally. Never. Sure there are great actresses out there like Amelia Marshall who COULD do a good job with the role, but they would never infuse the role with the same characteristics that Victoria brought to the role. Most of what you saw when Victoria was playing the role was NOT in the original scripts. She improvised most of that, which I feel made her performances more realistic and relatable.

    Maria Bell would probably NEVER even see fit to recast the role of Drucilla. In fact, I truly believe that they hired Julie Pace Mitchell (Sofia) as some “Drucilla-lite” replacement, but she ain’t cutting the mustard for me. In the same way that they hired Yvonne Zima to be some FAKE Sheila Carter replacement, and failed dismally in that respect as well. You guys pointed that out on one of your past podcasts, and I couldn’t agree more.

    95% of Maria’s casting choices are disastrous/ridiculous. Hell, I shudder to think who they would find to play Drucilla if they did choose to recast.

    They are better off leaving my Drucilla MIA until the day ever comes when they decide to bring her BACK where she belongs—in the form of the ONE AND ONLY VICTORIA!!!!!!

    Just my humble opinion.

  9. Profile photo of GHfan-4now
    GHfan-4now

    I have to agree with alstonboy. They’ve had too many wannabes going on there trying to emulate Dru already that a recast would be much worse, IMO. From Eva the ridiculous Diva to Sofia, Sofia, LAWD, Miss Sofia! Where’s Harpo??? It’s ridiculously INSULTING!

    A recast would not only piss off the fans who can’t help but identify her with Dru, but it would just be a slap in the face. With a closed fist. Granted, people may not like her antics, but just as they effed up with Malcolm, and don’t want to write for the Winter’s family anyway, aside from Lily, they’d eff up a Dru recast as well just for sh*ts and giggles, I’m sure. And IF they DID recast, there are no indications that they would take the time to craft a perfect story for that family. In the end, Dru’s still a POC, and if they don’t want to write for them in general, I don’t see them pulling out the pens to write for her, recast or not. The change needs to happen behind the scenes, FIRST. And it needs to start at the top and work its way down like a TLC Waterfall. Don’t go chasing ‘em, just get rid of ‘em!

    Like Digest, I haven’t bought a copy of Weekly in months, but I’ll be heading out to the drugstore today to buy me a copy of THIS!

  10. Profile photo of Ryan-Scott
    Ryan-Scott

    It’s going to be 4 years in April since Dru went flipping over that cliff and I would rather Dru stayed off the show than be recast.

    I do like Sofia though. She needs a story though just like Malcolm, Neil, Devon, etc…

    And I do not want to hear anymore talk about gravy. Those that saw the Thanksgiving and Christmas episodes know what I mean. OVER IT.

  11. Profile photo of tedew
    tedew

    Diversity is obviously extremely important and Y&R needs more positive story lines involving more than just the pure white folks. A line or two or maybe appearing in a couple of scenes a week does not count.

    But is VR truly committed to this cause or is she just causing trouble and being self serving?

  12. Profile photo of Cyberologist
    Cyberologist

    BRAVA Vickey tell it like it really is I don’t care what her reasons are she’s telling the truth; I’m sick of excuses its now 2011 and I’m hearing the same excuse as I did decades ago.

    Anyone with sight can see exactly what soap operas are and if you still don’t get a clue just pick up a SID, SOD, SOW magazine flip through the pages then tell me who you see it ain’t hard folks…

  13. Profile photo of beans4metoo
    beans4metoo

    Toscanti- you read my mind and took the words RIGHT out of my mouth.

    I totally agree with her message, just not her delivery. As far as buying the magazine, I won’t be wasting my money on it when I can go on the internet and read for free the same exact stuff she’s been saying non-stop.
    I also think a recast would be great, because she is no Susan Lucci or Tony Geary or David Canary. Those are actors and characters not to be recast IMHO. Others may disagree and I respect that as I hope they will respect my opinion.

    Although I would be fine with a recast, I agree with GHfan-4Now, just because they recast doesn’t mean the writers would give the character/actress a story as they seem to ignore the other minority actors and characters already on canvas. I believe that if the writers INTENDED to write for the minority characters or the Winters family that they could come up with plenty of story without needing Drucilla back on canvas. They have the perfect opportunity right now to do a triangle with Malcolm/Sofia/Neil and we barely see any of those three actors.

    I will give Victoria Rowell kudos for helping to incite action, I just think as Tocanti has said, she has burned her bridges in daytime.

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