Ex-Y&R Showrunner Maria Arena Bell: "I Am a Fan of Michael Muhney The Actor — Not The Person"






Former The Young and the Restless head writer and executive producer Maria Arena Bell is once again speaking out on the controversy surrounding Michael Muhney's (ex-Adam) firing. Bell spoke to Tommy Garrett of Highlight Hollywood to clarify her comments in Soap Opera Digest about Muhney being let go and the claims TMZ has made. She stated:

Let me be clear. Tommy I am a fan of Michael Muhney the actor- not the person. Frankly he should have been let go months before because of his behind the scenes actions. It’s still a loss for the fans. Instead of acting quickly they tried to turn the fans against the character of Adam. Bad move. And they should not recast right away now. It’s too damaged.”  Adding, “The only thing that matters in this story -now  on TMZ is that a young girl is protected. She should have been all along. People should have been more decisive not less in this matter.

Bell further went on to say:

 

I think they should have taken immediate action. They didn’t. Whatever happened, they need to protect the safety of the cast.


Comments

Member since:
2 April 2009
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Well if this does turn out to be true about Michael (cause innocent until proven guilty and all that) then I can't say I don't agree with Maria...never thought I would say that.

Member since:
5 July 2008
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If he was such a trouble behind the scenes all these years then why didnt MAB get rid of him. kinda funny to put it all on JFP when MAB coulda fired him while she was EP/HW

Member since:
2 April 2009
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She might not have been able to appleridge seems like this was the straw that broke the camels back. Either that or Jill has more balls than MAB Wink

Member since:
5 July 2008
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Im saying MAB makes it sound like MM was pulling this when she was i charge.

If he was then she shoulda had the balls to let him go regardless of the fan war it would have caused

She talks protecting the cast, well if MM was doing this during MAB & she let him slide, she wasnt doing her job either

Siunds like some guilt of I wish I had fired him before it got to this point

alstonboy4315's picture
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12 February 2010
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I wish this heffa would just stop talking.........

SoapArmageddon's picture
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Wow!

The Muhney-ites are going to have to twist themselves in knots to pooh-pooh these allegations now. It doesn't seem as though there is anybody with some kind of connection to the show, past or present, who is willing to come to his defence.

alstonboy, Maria probably reckons that anything that makes JFP look bad will make her look good by comparison.

RealityCheck 33's picture
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13 February 2010
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The trouble started when MM publicly sided with Sharon Case's tweets over her unhappiness over her pairing with Eric Braeden on the show in MAB's waning days. Braeden took offense over it and insulted MM publicly. It escalated and then they supposedly they called a truce. Then in the Spring of this year, a fan on twitter started another conflict between the two and it got even nastier. It was obvious these two were never going to get along, which made for a tough working situation since they shared so much screen time together. Then MM was frozen out by Y&R's clique and the whole situation just deteriorated. Things got openly personal and the egos got banged up. Frankly, they all acted like children, in my humble opinion. Then this incident happened and Sony saw a reason to fire him. I've heard that JFP actually wanted to settle the matter privately, but Sony pushed it. Now this has exploded and the body parts are everywhere. TMZ, being the vultures that they are, has exploited it to the hilt. Careers are now ruined and I can imagine the lawyers are licking their chops.

Hollywood is an awful place. BTW Jamey, I'll retract my question about you calling Muhney. I don't think he'll be available for future interviews on your podcast.

One last question. If Muhney was such a horror, why did Sony sign him to a two-year contract extension earlier this year? Something doesn't add up here. I'm just sayin'...

Member since:
8 March 2012
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If MAB had kept her mouth shut to begin with they she wouldn’t have to clarify (say the direct opposite of what she said in SOD) her statements about MM. Also she pretty much says that he was horrible and should have been fired a long time ago. Okay. I am glad though she at least had enough class to not attack the victim.

Member since:
16 May 2012
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appleridge wrote:
If he was such a trouble behind the scenes all these years then why didnt MAB get rid of him. kinda funny to put it all on JFP when MAB coulda fired him while she was EP/HW

I so agree with this. I totally believe this story, where there is smoke there is fire, and there is a lot of smoke about MM. But MAB doesn't need to be casting stones because she didn't do anything about his poor behavior when she was there. I mean you don't see other former show runners commenting on issues of their former shows.

AlexB's picture
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16 December 2007
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I absolutely agree with "where there's smoke, there's fire." If this actor is the douche that he is being made out to be, I would like to know why the actions were allowed to continue. If this show was really about protecting its actors then this should have been handled a long time ago. Muhney has been with the show for how long, 5 years?

With so many factors that could affect Y&R's brand creatively, why have this monkey on your back when it could be easily rectified. Fire whoever needs to be and keep it moving. No one should be bigger than the show.

SoapArmageddon's picture
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22 January 2011
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This whole saga is way better than any of the crap ever written during MAB's days at the helm and during JFP's so far. Smile

And yes, I realize there are real lives and careers involved, but real actions have real consequences, and one of them is to be mocked mercilessly on the internet. Wink

RealityCheck 33's picture
Member since:
13 February 2010
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I repeat, if Michael Muhney was so bad, why did Sony sign him to a two-year contract extension earlier this year?

Why would you do that in light of this pile on by everyone? Something just doesn't add up to me.

Member since:
5 July 2008
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9 hours 4 min

Either SONY had zero clue

OR

They Knew and were morried about their profits then the actors

Member since:
7 February 2012
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[quote=alstonboy4315]I wish this heffa would just stop talking.........

She and anyone else involved in this needs to STFU.

The other actors should have kept their mouths shut about the reasons he was fired. Why MM got to announce his firing and no official announcement from Sony/CBS was puzzling.

This was handeled poorly by all involved.

Member since:
16 April 2010
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7 hours 2 min

Its really a shame what is occurring here. I think even though it isn't the publics right to know what occurred, something will have to be acknowledged publicly if MM does insist he is innocent and wants to save his career. I feel terrible for his wife and children, as we have seen with so many politicians wives that have endured public embarrassment for their husbands indiscretions, Im sure this has been a tough time for her. I also feel terrible for Hunter King, to be tied to such an embarrassing situation as a young actress. Michael Muhney is such a talented actor, its a loss to the fans of the show that have embraced Michaels brilliant portrayal of Adam. I hope MM can seek out therapy for the bad choices he has made and come to peace within his life.

Marcelle's picture
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23 November 2010
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All those contracts no matter what the length, have outs on Sony's behalf where they can fire an actor after I believe an 18 or 32 week cycle. Like others have mentioned, whatever ultimately got Muhney fired it was the proverbial straw that broke the camel's back.

As the outrage over his departure proves he was a popular actor with fans. Sony probably signed him to a new contract with the knowledge that if he stepped out of line, at any point they could let him go.

Perhaps whatever trouble there had been prior to MM's re-signing didn't necessarily warrant a firing by Sony, but a warning instead. And then MM did whatever it was that did ultimately get him fired, and Sony let him go.

From what I understand, the contracts Sony has with the talent are basically to keep the actors from doing outside work to an extent. The contract ensures that the actor will always be available to Sony/Y&R during the length of the contract, but it allows Sony to let actors go at any time once it's decided they're no longer needed.

Member since:
20 August 2012
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Yikes. This is messy. It sounds to me like MAB is admitting SHE looked the other way to MM's antics under her regime. MM was MAB's hire, her pet, so she enabled this guy. IMO, that makes her culpable too. If MM was such a terror behind the scenes, he should've been let go years ago.

The tea is getting spilled big time. Bloggers, Showrunners, TMZ, and it seems this sexual harassment was the straw that broke the camel's back.

http://www.crazydaysandnights.net/2014/01/michael-muhney-finally-fired-f...

Michael Muhney Finally Fired From Young And The Restless

"It took years of complaining by women on the show but producers of The Young And The Restless finally had enough of Michael Muhney and fired him. The actor, who plays Adam Newman on the soap is the answer to a lot of my blind items and Soap Suds blind items. For years he has been harassing women and groping them and pressuring them and doing everything he could to make them uncomfortable. According to TMZ, the thing that finally got him fired is that Hunter King who plays Summer was going to sue the show and the producers and Michael and anyone else she could think of if they didn't fire him. She says that he repeatedly fondled her breasts and she was over it and going to quit and sue. There is no way the producers want a line of women to come forward so they fired the guy. Michael is married and has three children."

This sounds awful. How long has this guy been doing this? I've also read he was fired from Veronica Mars after a dust-up with co-stars, particularly Kristen Bell, and the Producer, Rob Thomas.

TV Gord's picture
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18 February 2009
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scrumptious, that blurb you're quoting is seriously misrepresenting what TMZ wrote. They didn't write anything about her threatening to sue, and they say she reported being groped two times, not "repeatedly". This is how stories get exaggerated in the hysteria of the blogosphere. You should think twice before spreading such misinformation. The facts are damning enough.

Restless Fan's picture
Member since:
12 December 2008
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Michael Muhney aside I wish Maria Bells mouth would meet a bit foot right in the kisser. What a douche bag. I think she's saving face because she commented on a matter without knowing all the details. Notice she's the loudest Bell in the family...and the least talented.

Member since:
4 April 2008
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14 weeks 14 hours

A "two-year contract extension" in soap hardly means some long term investment or indication of faith in an actor from Sony/CBS's perspective. Almost all soap actor's contracts allow the studio to fire the actor at the end of any 13 week cycle. And such contracts certainly allow firing an actor for cause for sexual harassment.

My speculation? Just from MM's twitter feed, the guy is narcissistic (even by actor standards) & difficult. I get the impression he'd had backstage issues for a while. But being "difficult" doesn't open up Sony/CBS to legal liability. MM sexually harassing a co-worker does. And sadly, I do believe he's guilty of this conduct because, well, he hadn't denied it and so many YR actors/sources have all but confirmed it.

I loved MM as Adam, even when I hated the crazy, egotistical junk MM would tweet. But he can't keep his job after sexually harassing a co-worker.

As for MAB--she's made herself into a joke. So she tells SOD that MM was only fired bc of JFP & company's bad writing, then after the TMZ post comes out says "oh, MM should've been fired AGES ago." She looks like an idiot that just wants to look right not be right. And now she's neither.

Marcelle's picture
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23 November 2010
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The Daily Mail has picked up the story from TMZ, http://www.dailymail.co.uk/tvshowbiz/article-2 5 3 3 7 6 1/Y-R-favourite-Michael-Muhney-fired-long-running-soap-amid-claims-groped-star-Hunter-King.html find it here so the story's spreading quickly now.

If the allegations are true, at the time of the firing Sony should've released a statement saying why, leaving HHK's name out of it. Now they have all the speculation going on, and people harassing that girl.

Sony should've put out an official statement, one that would've protected HHK's identity.

Member since:
20 August 2012
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22 hours 58 min

Enty Lawyer ‏@entylawyer 14h

It took years of complaining but the women on Y&R finally got rid of Michael Muhney. Too much sexual harassment to ignore any longer

Enty Lawyer ‏@entylawyer 14h

@sopermama @miss_red_mel @stacytime I used to write blinds about him and Soap Suds is filled with blinds about him.

Enty Lawyer ‏@entylawyer 13h

@miss_red_mel @RealityLuLu1 @sopermama @stacytime First one of him I'm going to reveal is when he got Y&R two years after Veronica Mars

http://www.crazydaysandnights.net/2014/01/michael-muhney-finally-fired-f...

http://www.crazydaysandnights.net/2014/01/blind-items-revealed_4.html

SoapSnob's picture
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1 July 2008
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This is a very sad, sorrowful situation for all involved. Especially Hunter Haley King and Michael Muhney, but also for Jill Farren Phelps, Angelica McDaniel, CBS and Sony. In my opinion, this spectacle is truly highlighting the sorry, pathetic state of The Young & the Restless. Viewers should be concerned about what fascinating and extraordinary tales are being told about characters of Adam Newman and Summer Newman Abbott. Largely due to the lack of our current (for good or bad) ever-expanding digital age, when the following occurred, I never recall hearing about them at that time - Jaime Lyn Bauer's contract negotiations, Brenda Dickson's firing, Terry Lester's firing/resignation/mutual dismissal, Peter Bergman and Eric Braeden coming to fisticuffs. Because I was getting good and compelling drama on my television screen, I was not concerned with what was happening behind the scenes. Sony and CBS really, Really, REALLY need to call an internal meeting to resolve Y&R's issues which are far more than this Human Resources and Public Relations nightmare. And they need to include a Bell. But not Maria Arena Bell.

nysam's picture
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28 October 2008
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Doesn't MAB have some shopping to do or a museum event to promote? A "professional" who got to where she is by sleeping her way there isn't credible.

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16 June 2010
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I don't know what to think. This girl is 20 yrs old. Don't know circumstances but he should know better.

I looked at video made by sharon C in Dec and it seemed like she liked working with him. Also many other pictures with his co workers where they are all look like friends. Same with the other actress he has a lot of scenes with. Her name escapes me now. She tweeted him a pic also.

I am completely confused here. I don't know this guy.

I saw the pics of his family and children so I do hope if this is in the press that it is a viable complaint.

I don't expect her or any actress to put up with bad behavior. I don't particularly care for her portrayal of Summer. Her voice annoys me but I already know that it has nothing to do with this whole situation.

It will be interesting how this plays out now that it is out in press. This is sad but more intriguing than the soap is right now anyway.

TV Gord's picture
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18 February 2009
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heatherwebber10010 wrote:
This is bullshit. This is simply DC promoting Highlight Hollywood. Nobody would ever read or hear of that column. Its another marketing "buzz site" with DC trying to drive traffic to them.

Ha! Now it's this site's fault. Blame all the messengers. Some of you absolutely crack me up! I can't believe Cirque du Soleil hasn't been skimming the soap boards for new talent with all of the implausible stretching to defend the golden boy I've read on this topic over the past few days! Laughing out loud

The_Moustache's picture
Member since:
17 June 2009
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3 days 12 hours

this is very sad for Michael and his family. i feel his troubles are about to get worse and worse as this story continues to grow and his ex-co workers say he should've been fired and that there was more to the story which puts him in a negative light.

Sad

The_Moustache's picture
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17 June 2009
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double post~

The_Moustache's picture
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double post~

Member since:
21 June 2010
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So CBS leaked Hunter name to TMZ because they could not taken the heat of his firing?