Former The Young and the Restless star Victoria Rowell (pictured with Jessye Norman and Rowell's husband Radcliffe Bailey above) hosted the Dance Theatre of Harlem’s Inaugural Vision Award Gala on April 25 in New York City. The event, which featured performances by the Dance Theatre of Harlem Ensemble and surprise guests, honored Arthur Mitchell. Funds raised at the gala went to the Next Generation Fund. See more photos from the gala after the jump! READ MORE
This pilot season is really turning out to be Six Degrees of Soap-eration. First As The World Turns alum Alexandra Chando and General Hospital's Tyler Christopher end up cast in ABC Family's The Lying Game, a show being helmed by former soap scribe Chuck Pratt (Santa Barbara, General Hospital, Sunset Beach, All My Children), now comes word that former Sunset Beach and One Life to Live beauty Sherri Saum will be playing the daughter of The Young and the Restless guest star Eric Roberts (who also starred in Another World and How to Survive a Marriage) in the ABC primetime soap pilot Grace!
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." READ MORE
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.” READ MORE
Recently I was asked by Stephanie Guerilus, a staff writer for The Philadelphia Tribune, if she could interview me concerning Victoria Rowell's relationship with The Young and the Restless. One of DC's peers, NaVell J. Lee, host of Buzzworthy Radio was also interviewed, along with Rowell herself.
Here's what I had to say when asked about the opinion of fans online regarding Rowell:
“If you go online, Victoria definitely has a huge amount of supporters on our site, but she also has her detractors, but what I like to bring up is not focusing so much on whether you think she’s outrageous or whether or not she’s bitter or these things that people accuse her of being,”said Jamey Giddens, editorial director of Daytime Confidential.com. “There’s truth in the fact that there are only two working African-American writers in daytime, when this is an industry, according to most studies, that is watched by a large percentage of African Americans.”
Here's a snippet of what Lee had to say: READ MORE
Former The Young and the Restless star Victoria Rowell has taken her campaign to see more diversity in front and behind the cameras of daytime to the mainstream, with an official blog on The Huffington Post:
During my tenure at Y&R, I campaigned hard to close multiple disparities and was met with tremendous pushback. Though I repeatedly consulted with non-black staff writers, selecting music and providing choreography, I was never given credit or compensation. I introduced stories ranging from classical ballet to foster care and adoption which received Congressional recognition while being asked to leave price tags in my Y&R wardrobe. The African American cast has won Emmys, dozens of NAACP Image Awards and various accolades for The Young and the Restless yet they continue to be marginalized and pushed to the periphery. When my representative requested Y&R consider me as a writer/director for the show, a courtesy afforded previously to many Anglo actors in daytime, such as Susan Flannery, Meg Bennet, Ellen Wheeler, Courtney Simon, Douglas Marland, and Christopher Gotman, the response from Sr. VP of CBS Daytime Television Barbara Bloom was, "We've never done that before." READ MORE