Victoria Rowell Slams ‘Y&R;’ Criticizes Soap For Lack of Diversity


Any fans of “” hoping for a miraculous return by (Drucilla Winters) would be wise not to hold their breath: The actress just publicly tore the 41-year-old sudser to shreds.

In a Twitter rant that coincided with the CBS series’ anniversary yesterday, Rowell broached the topic of racism in the soap opera industry, paying special attention to the show she called home for the better part of 1990 to 2007. “AfricanAmerican multi-million$ (P&G) audience substantially keeps Young & Restless at #1,” she wrote, followed by: “Young & Restless on for 40 years, loyally watched by their absolute competitive-edge audience (blacks) & not ONE black Exec PRODUCER?”

The Maine native then continued with a series of tweets pointing out that there’s a serious lack of diversity in all aspects of the genre, from a lack of black people in the group that comprises the behind-the-scenes crew at “Y&R” to a lack of diversity in the pool of editors at magazines like Soap Opera Digest and Soaps In Depth. “There’s NO excuse,” she wrote during her several-hours-long tirade.

As fans of the show may recall, Rowell left under controversial circumstances back in 2007, stating that she was leaving due to behind-the-scenes politics. Consequently, her character fell off a cliff and was never seen alive again.

So, what do you think about Rowell’s tirade toward “Y&R” and her public declaration that soap operas and the daytime industry suffers from a serious lack of diversity? Do you agree with what she has to say? Let us know in the comment section  below!

  • Fred

    It’s obvious from the poor story lines given the black actors on Y&R that discrimination is alive behind the scenes. Cliques and a good ol’ boy atmosphere prevail. Of course the story lines throughout lately show a lack of creativity. A younger more vibrant producer is needed regardless of color.

    • sands of time

      Days of our lives has strengthened their black cast and are now in the midst of looking to hire a beautiful black actress in her 30’s!

      DAYS…delivering diversity…cast, crew and storylines!!!

      Goodbye Yawn & Rest!

      • Bexx

        One? Y&R has had how many black actors in leading roles over the years? Even James Reynolds spoke out about the lack of diversity in soaps. But you enjoy your ‘token’ one.

        • sands of time

          No, DAYS has Abe, Theo, Maxine and a highschool girl of the AA race. A casting call went out a few weeks back for an AA male. Now the new call for an AA female.

          I’ve been calling for a more diverse cast. DAYS is listening. Renee Jones was a very big part of DAYS and I continue to miss her. She chose to quit.

          Is the actor that plays Neil on Y&R being punished for the words spoken by VR? Y&R should not hold that against him.

          • Bexx

            …and Y&R has/had Kristoff, Angell, Christel, Davetta, Victoria, Shemar, Byton, Eva, Michelle, Rederic, Tonya, Lamon, Marguerite, and most recently some investigator dude who was working with EB. So…WTF are you talking about?

            You really don’t want to compare our soap history with AA against yours, because once again you will lose.

            And also what about all the other minorities out there? People are always campaigning for more African Americans in soap, but what about Asians, and Indians, when was the last time you’ve seen one represented?

          • sands of time

            I named the ones on now. I did not include past characters. In a separate paragraph, I did mention Renee Jones.

            You are speaking of past and present as if I was including the past characters.

            Diversity includes a wide range of races, religions, sexual orientation, handicaps and many other people.

            I was waiting for that Asian question. A prosecuting attorney against Sami is Asian. A girlfriend of Stefano is Asian.

          • Bexx

            Kristoff, Angell, Christel, Rediric, Lamon, Mishael and Bryton. Anyway, what were you saying?

          • sands of time

            I think you’re missing the point.

            Diversity as a whole is my point (including different types of storylines that are not all depressing).

          • Bexx

            VR comments were about the lack of blacks in front and behind the scenes. You are the one who continues to harp on the fact that DOOL is hiring some black woman, and that YR is lacking in the area of racial diversity.

            You aren’t watching Y&R, so therefore you can’t comment on the story lines you know nothing about.

          • GUEST

            JUST SHUT THE HECK UP!! HE CAN COME up here talking about YOUNG & PUT THIS SHOW TO REST ALREADY whenever HE wants. So what if he doesn’t know any story lines?! GET OUT OF THIS SITE AND TELL YOUR anti-Muhney parasites too DUMB (BLEEP)!

          • Patrick Ferrando

            And also Amy, Amy’s dad, Tyrone, and Jazz (characters) back in the 80’s…YR has always led with AA characters ON screen. No other soap has EVER come close.

          • GUEST

            sands of time was talking about PRESENT AA NOT PAST AA! Read his sentence again before warning him with your dumb sub par characters you just named (BLEEP)!

        • GUEST


      • Andrew Hass

        I’m happy that DOOL is trying to hire more African American actors but that doesn’t mean the characters they’ll play will have big stories.Diversity is great but not if the actors are just going to be in the background.I also think it’s great that Days has a gay couple in Will and Sonny and they are letting them get married but the story they are currently in is not even theirs really.

    • TV&MovieBuff

      But who is to say a younger more vibrant producer will be any better. Frank V. and Ron C. are younger than the average on soaps, and not even in soaps for very many years and both shows they have been at have been bad at diversity. They are both gay and the gay storyline they have at GH is one of the worst ever.

  • Bexx

    So does she have any actual proof that Y&R and CBS are deliberately not hiring African Americans because of their skin color? What she needs to do is shut her trap! Everyone wants diversity, while demanding special treatment for some. If she wants a real discussion about race and the lack of diversity in the genre, then she should include all the networks, not just Y&R.

    • sands of time

      Even more behind the scenes drama. Y&R is thriving on bullcrap!!!

      Days of our Lives…doing things right!

      • Bexx

        Last time I checked VR isn’t employed by CBS. Worry about your own show with it’s coke heads, and lunatics fans threatening actors over their couples. You hypocrite.

        • sands of time

          Why am I called a hypocrite for speaking the truth? Is it because I can no longer be called what VR is calling Y&R?

          I’m loving DAYS and loving the progress the soaps are making as a whole, but Y&R needs to do better in front of the camera and behind the camera.

          What will you and other Y&R fans be calling me if and when another Y&R whistleblower comes forward with accusations of Y&R being hypocrites?

          The original plan to make me look bad backfired. Now plan B will too.

          • Bexx

            What truth? All I’ve seen you do is label accusations against Y&R/CBS.

            How is Y&R thriving off the rant of a washed up actress? No one at CBS asked her to open her mouth.

            Since Y&R is doing so poorly, please tell us how many blacks are working behind the scenes at on DOOL? I’m sure you have those numbers on hand.

            Wishful thinking? Because right now you have zero proof. If you do please name the African Americans who were overqualified and denied positions at Y&R in favor of the unqualified white person, simple because they were the wrong shade. I’ll wait…

          • GUEST

            HE CAN AND HE WILL!!

          • TV&MovieBuff

            Did you even read the article above. The headline says she blasted Y&R but she didn’t just blast Y&R — she blasted the whole soap opera genre and the soap opera press. It was about all 4 shows including the press that covers them. Read the article and read her rants on Twitter.

          • GUEST

            YES he DID read the article you DUMB (BLEEP)! Last time I CHECKED EVERYONE”S entitled to THEIR opinions. SO YOU AND Bexx and your anti-Muhney parasites need to shut the heck up because we’re getting sick and tired of your garbage on this site!

          • rose

            Yep, it is her opinion and that’s all. Not too many people really care about what happens behind the scenes. The enjoyment is watching what happens in front of the scene.

        • GUEST

          That’s just totally uncalled for! DO NOT disrespect Days of Our Lives and its fans throughout the entire show’s lifespan DUMB (BLEEP)! OH last time I CHECKED CBS airs the show DUMB ****!!! WORRY ABOUT YOUR SHOW instead of worrying about the other ones IT”S because of YOU and your anti-Muhney parasites and JFP THE soap opera killer that fired Muhney in the first place! IF anyone a HYPOCRITE it would happen to be YOU! GET A LIFE!!

  • Andrew Hass

    Victoria Rowel may have some valid points but maybe she could have said things better.Plus viewers watch Y&R for what’s happening onscreen and not behind the scenes.Plus maybe Victoria shouldn’t have gone after the soap magazines because that could backfire on her somehow.

  • richalan67

    What a piece of work! She is a loud mouth blowhard. I don’t see any show picking her up. She is a train wreck. It’s a shame because she is very talented. I hated Dru character but liked her (past tense).

  • Patrick Ferrando

    She has a right to voice her concerns. But she did it in a way that’s a blow to her fan base. She’ll never be back now.
    I’m not disagreeing with her, but she needs to give credit for YR having the MOST diverse cast of any of the shows. And Bill ALWAYS wrote for her. She was front and center.
    Sad to see how it was done.

    • sands of time

      DAYS is more diverse in race and sexuality and storylines! Goodbye YawneR!

      • Patrick Ferrando

        You know the number one daytime soap is not going anywhere. Sorry to remind you, yet again.

  • TV&MovieBuff

    As much as I love Victoria Rowell, I am just so over her. I have gotten to where I even hate to see her name in a post because I know it is going to be more of her rhetoric. Even when she has good points no one listens anymore because of the approach she takes. I had held out hope for her to return to Y&R some day, but now I don’t even want her to come back anymore.

    • sands of time

      She may go to DAYS! DAYS…on par with VR!

      Building diverse dynamics…Days of our Lives!

      No time to be a YawneR!!!

      • Andrew Hass

        Considering that Sony produces both Y&R and DOOL i don’t see her on Days anytime soon.Plus if any soap does hire they may want her not to speak too much about things.She’s an actress.So she has control over the shows.Plus how does she know that Y&R doesn’t have a lot of African Americans working behind the scenes?She has the right to speak her mind but then she has to be willing to pay the consequences.

        • TV&MovieBuff

          She has been spouting this same stuff for years and years on any forum she can get an audience, and now on Twitter when she can’t get in the mags and stuff. She has had problems with Y&R for years yet has even openly begged to return to the show. She is a talented actress but I just honestly don’t see anyone hiring her. Since she left Y&R she’s had a few series guest spots, small roles in a few movies, and 2 episodes of Law & Order: SVU as a judge.

          Like you said if Sony was going to hire her they would do it at Y&R where she was popular with fans. If they won’t there they definitely won’t on Days. I doubt Brad Bell is going to hire her. And I just don’t see Frank V. ever hiring her at GH. If GH wanted controversy they would hire Michael Muhney before they would Rowell.

  • someone sick of it

    its always people using the race card every soap I have watched uses blacks,chinese,whites, and Mexicans grow up!

  • Timmy Lee Roberts

    Yay, she is right about that.

  • sands of time

    I’ve been accused of being a racist and as being homophobic. I am loving DAYS now! I have begged for a more diverse group of characters for a few years now. I am not against anybody because of their race or sexuality, but Y&R is!!!
    Thank you VR!

    DAYS is adding a beautiful African American woman in her 30’s, which will strengthen what I’ve admitted that DAYS lacked!

    SONNY AND WILL ARE GETTING MARRIED!!! Days of our Lives…listening!


    VR…Telling the truth! TRUTH…DOOL!

    • TV&MovieBuff

      For someone who cries all the time about people not watching the replacement shows so that soaps can be saved, you sure are a hypocrite. Sorry to say it like that but all you do is tear other soaps down esp. Y&R. You are a whole lot worse soap opera fan than anyone who might watch a replacement show.

      If your favorite soap can’t stand on its own merits then you just need to be quiet. All it does is make you look bad when you tear down another soap just to make yours look good.

      • sands of time

        I love the genre! People should not watch the replacement shows. People should watch all the soaps they can. The order of importance should be:

        Days of our Lives
        General Hospital
        The Bold and the Beautiful
        The Young and the Restless

        I tore down a soap because you accused me of being what Y&R evidently is!

        I still say watch Y&R before any talk, game or cooking show. It’s just more advisable to watch a more diverse show; Days of our Lives.

        Days of our Lives is standing on it’s own merits. They are listening!
        They are delivering! They are representing!!!

        You should calm down. You’re just upset because one of Y&R’s own has blown the whistle.

        Don’t shoot the messenger.

        • TV&MovieBuff

          Once again you speak not knowing what you are talking about. If you will look around on message boards Victoria Rowell is not saying anything that we as fans have not been saying for a long time. Victoria Rowell has not let anything out of the bag.

          And remember I watch Days too and have watched Days. If you honestly think that Days is any better at representing African American characters than Y&R does then you have another thought coming. Simply having characters of color on your show does not make it diverse. Y&R has just as many AA characters if not more than Y&R and they are ever present but their stories are bad.

          Seriously how long has it been since Abe has even had a story. And they treated the actress who played Lexxie terribly and it was years before she left since her last big story before the cancer one.

          And as far as calling you those names. Remember you are the one that made the statements. And then when you got called out on them you wanted to pretend both times that is not what you meant. The statements are there…they tell the truth.

          • sands of time

            And I’ve clarified my views several times since, but you continue to dwell. Why is that? You want to cast doubt on me so people will not focus on the elephant in the room: The problem of Y&R!

            I fought for a few years to get equal treatment of diverse groups of characters on DAYS. End of story.

            What I know about Lexi is she was in several great storylines for several years. As for other AA’s, some were popular, some were not.

            A casting call already went out for an AA male a few weeks ago. So, that’s two added to the group already there (Abe, Maxine, Theo and a highschool girl).

            Apparently, no matter how much I brag that DAYS may have listened to me concerning Will and Sonny and AA’s and others that will follow ( a disabled person would be nice), you will continue to use my poor writing against me.

            FOR THE RECORD: I will no longer comment on the misunderstood statements.

            I’m also not a hypocrite.

        • Bexx

          Jealousy and envy is a m’fker! It’s no wonder you’re out campaigning for DOOL every single week. If your show was as good as you claimed you wouldn’t need promote it constantly. According to you Y&R is failing, but you still seem worried? Even in Y&R’s worst year DOOL will NEVER ever…NEVER be in a position to beat it, and deep down you’re fully aware of that.

          • sands of time

            Now who’s a hypocrite? You campaign for Y&R!

          • Bexx

            I never had to campaign for Y&R, or spam messages on here telling people to tune in, because I know what my soap is capable of when it is at it’s best. Over 5 millions viewers didn’t choose DOOL and thats a fact.

    • Bexx

      I’m sorry but you really are an idiot. You’re trashing Y&R for not having diversity, a soap that has a core AA family and hasn’t reduced those actors to standing plants, yet you just admitted that DOOL has been lacking that same diversity which you speak of. I’m wondering how many usernames you have, you’re coming off like those losers who complain about ATWT every week.

      • sands of time

        Race is not the only diversity I’m talking about. “sands of time” is my only username. I never watched ATWT, but I can understand why they’re upset. The CBS President killed their show for his wife to have her own talk show. It’s simple: If ATWT had aired right after TPIR, you may be sounding like them right now. Speculation, of course.

        • JayTN

          True, race is not the only “diversity” and CBS as a whole network (daytime, primetime, etc.) seems to lag behind the others in terms of LGBT characters. However, Rowell’s comments are thru the prism of racism, not bigotry towards a persons sexual orientation.

          • Bexx

            One of the reasons I think Y&R hasn’t truly created any LGBT characters is partly due to the large AA audience that VR speaks of. Sadly most AA are still deeply religious and believe homosexuality to be a sin. I think there will likely be a lesbian couple before a same sex one involving two men.

            I used to watch ATWT, and absolutely hated how all of Nukes sex scenes were fade-to-black. I always figured it was the angry old ladies writing CBS threatening the wrath of God.

          • JayTN

            As I said in my previous post, as a whole, CBS seems to have the least LGBT presence in daytime or primetime. Witness how quickly the “Will & Grace”-esque comedy “Partners” came and went on the network last season.

            Y&R has a lousy track record in the LGBT arena. I know that the character of Adam Newman pretended to be attracted to a man and reportedly was why the original actor (Chris Engen) opted to leave the series (although he later denied that as a reason). The object of Adam’s faux affection, a Latino attorney character whose name I forget, stayed around for a few years, but seems to have faded from view.

          • Cul-di-sac

            Gays are not the target demo for advertisers. Nor do the make up enough of an audience to actually make the networks care.

            Sure Days has done Will storyline. But the reality is you are dealing with majority Heterosexual female audience and that is what the shows were created for and cater too.

            On the other hand African American women do make up the largest audience of daytime and is where the diversity would need to come at. You go with the audience you got.

            Some people ask about Asians or Latino’s too. Yet, again Latinos watch telenovella’s and not daytime soaps % wise. Asians do not make up enough of the daytime audience either.

            The point is you want to cater to your demos.

            The audience growth in daytime has been largely due to African American #1 and Caucasian #2 women returning to the soaps.

            Now that does not mean that you could not cast outside of that, those other groups are not who are bringing in the bacon for advertisers so they would not be priority.

  • RedRiver38

    Loving VR’s comments. The truth hurts & listen to the howls from the Y&R loons. Racism lives daily in Genoa City.

    • TV&MovieBuff

      But what good is she doing by it? She has been saying the same thing for years now and even though most if not all of the things she says are true — what good has it done? She could have stayed in the industry and tried to change things, but she didn’t. And she sure hasn’t made it possible to get back into daytime in any way possible. By constantly attacking the people that would even want to try and help her or have to hire her that is no way to get a job. Now she even attacks the soap opera press….many of which have supported her and given her views a voice. She’s not helping the issues at all. All she is doing is making the rift worse. She has burned so many bridges I don’t think she will ever work in the soap opera genre again. And really is she even getting work anywhere else? I haven’t seen anything with her in it in a long time. And that is sad because she is very talented. But pretty soon who is going to want to hire her at all.

  • JayTN

    I may be revisiting some comments already made (I didn’t read all 30 comments), but Victoria Rowell needs to get a life…or better yet, another acting gig (has she even had steady work since “leaving” Y&R?). It just sounds like a huge dose of sour grapes to me. Isn’t this the same woman who was practically “begging” to return to Y&R over the last couple of years?

    In terms of diversity, Y&R has probably more African-American characters on screen than the other soaps. Even B&B, which is probably the least diverse cast (despite being set in the capital of diversity, Los Angeles), has a couple of African-American cast members. “Days” really only has one African-American…police commissioner/mayor Abe Carver, and you can count on one hand how many episodes he appears in in a month. African-American characters on GH are largely second tier (Sean and Felix) or recurring. At least on Y&R, the African-American characters are integrated into the cast and even have storylines that they themselves drive. What about Neil, Leslie, Devon, Lily, Hilary/Ann? Are these characters not on screen on a regular basis?

    If Rowell wanted to be taken seriously about diversity in daytime, she would excoriate the entire genre and not just Y&R, especially since Y&R’s track record in that department is better than its fellow soaps. Yet, I bet that if Y&R were to decide that they wanted Ms. Rowell back, she would run back to the set so fast her feet would get burnt. Sour grapes…nothing but sour grapes.

    • sands of time

      You are wrong about DAYS only AA being Abe. Maxine and Theo and a new schoolgirl equal more than one.

      Surely, you understand diversity does not only pertain to AA’s.

      • JayTN

        Surely you understand that Ms. Rowell’s comments are dealing with African-Americans in front of and behind the cameras. You are the one who wants to expand that into other minorities, but Rowell is not talking about Asian-Americans or LGBT persons. Lest there be any confusion about Ms. Rowell’s intentions, the terms “African-American” or “black(s)” are mentioned three times in the above article in Twitter messages posted by Rowell. So, she clearly was talking about racial diversity in terms of African-American actors and producers.

        I notice that you seem to have the same mantra about Abe, Maxine, Theo and a African-American high schooler. I don’t usually count child actors as “main characters” since they don’t tend to drive stories unless they were switched at birth or are being kidnapped or have medical problems. So, the character of Theo could only be described as a secondary or recurring character. The same can be said of the African-American schoolmate of Paige. She has only been seen at the high school and interacts almost exclusively with Paige. The only top-tier “main” character of color that “Days” can claim, in my unbiased opinion, is Abe Carver. Nurse Maxine is probably a recurring character as she is rarely seen outside of the hospital, although I am aware that she did attend some kind of party at Dr. Daniel’s apartment in case you wanted to throw that argument my way.

        A more appropriate way to phrase this wouldn’t be to simply look at the number of African-American actors and characters. Soaps typically have two kinds of actors. Those with contracts and those without a contract (typically called “recurring”). Y&R has more African-American actors on contract than B&B, “Days” and GH. That isn’t an opinion. It’s a fact.

        • sands of time

          You are a brilliant writer!

          • Bexx

            Something I can agree with. Jay and Mike always swoop in to sum things up perfectly.

        • theonlineblaster

          The issue here is that putting a few African-Americans or Hispanics or any other minority on screen does not represent the true tone of the overall production effort. I’m so sure there are minorities that are more than qualified for the executive floor, production staff , etc.It’s annoying to read Rowell’s tweet and then to see someone dispute her claims by pointing out the sprinkling of minority actors on screen as though minorities in intellectual or skilled positions is not even an a possibility. I think sometimes NON-minorities are so racially insensitive that they don’t even realize they are the beneficiaries racial prejudice. So in love with seeing white they never consider all the other colors they never see. Makes me think of affirmative action, people always say “why should a less qualified person get the job simply because they are black, hispanic or Asian” as to say there is NEVER a minority more qualified than a white person. The issue is that minorities have to be twice as educated and/or experienced in order to receive equal their white counterparts, which is why affirmative action is necessary. So you can imagine there are dozens of more than qualified minorities able to make huge contributions, just looks at “Scandal”. It’s polarizing but is that good or bad in 2014.

  • jaytee

    is this why: Neil is in a storyline involving the price is right.. Only desperate low income go there for prizes.. I thought neil winters was rich and powerful!!!!!!!!! This is disgrace!!

    • sands of time

      Y&R could be punishing the actor for statements made by his former co-star.
      CBS has had several crossovers with their shows for many years. They know how important the silly game show is to them.

      A while back, the fans were even complaining about TPIR host for the game show’s drop in ratings, which caused Y&R to go down. Like I’ve already said, TPIR, along with backstage drama, is keeping Y&R afloat.

      Cut the head (TPIR) off of the snake and the body (Y&R) will die!

      Through the years, a lot of TPIR contestants have had tax problem headaches over junk prizes won on the TPIR. I urge all DAYS and GH fans to stop watching TPIR!!!

      • JayTN

        From what I have heard, like the rest of daytime, “The Price is Right” is actually seeing ratings increases. Y&R is not even the first CBS soap to incorporate “Price” into its storylines. B&B did the same thing with Alley Mills last year or in 2012. “Price” remains the top rated network daytime series, by far.

        At least CBS is interested enough in their daytime line-up to cross promote. How many daytime stars have appeared as guests on “The Talk”? Only “Let’s Make a Deal” is the only CBS daytime series that doesn’t seem to cross promote (other than Wayne Brady’s appearances on “The Talk”).

        I do think that these cross-promotions (Y&R/B&B to “Price” and even ABC’s clunky GH/”The Chew” cross-over) are usually cheesy and about as subtle as a sledge hammer. However, that is the television era in which we find ourselves (remember those painfully awkward product “integrations” on “Days” a few years back?).

      • jae430

        …a common fact that some fans may not realize is that TPIR ‘lives’ literally ‘the next door down’ from Y&R – MM had even tweeted a pic once of ‘the wheel’ being stored out in the hall while taping was in progress — sooo it was just a piece of cake to take cameras ‘next door’ and join in the fun – LOL

  • Gabby

    well, she blew it, after those statements let’s face it she won’t be invited back, N that’s 2 bad

  • linda dupuis

    I think she is mad because she wasn’t asked to come back she was not a good actress maybe she should come nack but use another actress

  • Golfboytee

    Another outburst for attention..can’t get a job. Shut it!

  • Dolly G

    it was diverse enough for her when she was on it, as I see it, it’s one of the more diverse of all of them.

  • Boots

    She should start a soap opera on the BET channel

  • Sabrina

    Well they must be doing something right or they would not still be #1 and lots of people watching including me .

    • fabienne

      oh yes, dream on ….

  • Fabienne

    funny how the Y&R holds on to its toxic reputation .Whoever they do not like , they
    assassinate . Everyday brings news of how corrupted the show is. And the sad departure of Michael Muhney just killed the show.Good job JFP and producers,
    good job. Keep up with the terrible management of the Y&R.

  • bibi

    Michael Muhney and Billy should have stayed on the show, it’s Lily and Kane that have no role except for kissing and kissing all the time. Lily is like a spoil baby princess. Get her out of the show and then Kane. Bring back Adam and if Summer doesn’t like it then get her out of the show, since she is the reason Adam got kicked out of y&r