Hunter King and Michael Mealor Talk About Their Exit from ‘The Young and the Restless’ as Summer and Kyle

Michael Mealor, Kyle Abbott, Hunter King, Summer Newman, The Young and the Restless
Howard Wise/JPI Studios | Michael Mealor, Hunter King (“The Young and the Restless”)

Sadly, Hunter King and Michael Mealor are officially done as Summer Newman and Kyle Abbott, respectively, on “The Young and the Restless.” The duo last aired on the Monday, August 9 episode of the soap opera when the young couple revealed to their parents plans to remain in Milan, Italy now that Summer has grown to love her new job regardless of how it came about, and Kyle believing he could handle things at Jabot remotely.

In an exit interview with Soap Opera Digest as part of the publication’s “Dishing with Digest” podcast, the duo confirmed for the first time as a unit that they have finished their stints on the CBS daytime drama series. Mealor previously confirmed reports after his now former on-screen uncle, Jason Thompson (Billy Abbott), accidentally let the cat out of the bag in response to a fan on Twitter. 

News of King and Mealor’s exit from the soap first came to light in early July when it was revealed that contract negotiations between the actors and the show hit an impasse, which is something they both wanted to finally address.

“It’s funny because contract negotiations are a weird thing … and I was kind of going through the process of it all … I hadn’t been on the show as long as Hunter has, so I never experienced this before and I was kind of, you know, just going through the motions,” says Mealor of the experience. He added, “My manager and I were working ourselves through it, and I think a couple of weeks into it … we were about to film a scene and, Hunter, correct me if I’m wrong, but it was, ‘Hey, I’ve got to talk to you about some business stuff.’ I didn’t realize she was going through negotiations at the same time, so it kind of turned out to where I spilled everything. Negotiations are a private thing, and I was like, ‘Hunter, this is what’s happening….’ It’s difficult because you love the show and, you know, all that kind of stuff, and you’re so dedicated to it. I mean, it was my life.” 

“We worked 50 weeks a year, four days a week, so it becomes such a piece of your life and everyone there is family … You just weigh all of the options, and there are so many factors that go into it that it makes it difficult, and at the end of the day, we were just trying to come to a middle ground … and we ended up not seeing eye to eye on certain aspects of it all, and we decided that this chapter as we know it, for Kyle at least, seeing him every single day on TV, it’s coming to a close as we know it, but that doesn’t mean we [won’t] see Kyle again in the future. Who knows what happens?” Mealor shares, giving hope that one day in the future he might pop in a time or two should he be asked.

As for Hunter, she said, “I kind of echo everything that Michael said, yeah, we were going through contract negotiations at the exact same time.” She noted, “Michael did wind up telling me everything that was going on with his contract negotiations, I wanted to tell him everything that was going on with mine, but yeah, it’s such an odd process when you’re doing that but also feeling that you’re family, so, it’s definitely weird, especially with soap operas.”

“I’m just kind of taking it day by day and figuring things out, but who knows what will happen?” King says, echoing Mealor’s comments on a future return or visit. “Nine years is a long time being on one show and I loved every second of it.”

While they are currently “sitting on our couches” according to joking Mealor, the two agree that they will forever be grateful for their “Y&R” experience, particularly thanks to the strong support of their fans. 

“It feels amazing to have their support and knowing how much Summer and Kyle meant to them,” King says of the “Skyle” fanbase. “We put so much into Summer and Kyle and their relationship, and it feels nice that they can see that and they feel the love that we put into the characters. It feels good to know that you’re being recognized by the people who matter most.”

Mealor agreed with King’s assessment, saying, “It speaks volumes to what the writers have done, what the show has done with Summer and Kyle, and I loved every minute of it … It’s so heartwarming and so affirming, like maybe we did touch some people along the way.”

For more on what King and Mealor have to say about their time on “The Young and the Restless,” and so much more, listen to the entire “Dishing with Digest” podcast featuring the duo, here.

Are you missing Hunter and Michael on “Y&R”? Comment below.