After Deadline provided an update to its reporting on the Albert Alarr misconduct allegations wherein he is said to have fostered a “toxic work environment” behind the scenes at “Days of our Lives” as the show’s co-executive producer and director, current cast member Arianne Zucker (Nicole Walker) took to Twitter on Wednesday asking fans/followers, “What are your thoughts…,” while sharing a link to Deadline’s reporting.
Viewed more than 30,000 times at press time, Zucker’s post has since garnered more than 500 likes and nearly 50 direct comments, one of which asked the actress, “Where is your union?”
In response to the question posed by Twitter user @SoapSass, Zucker could only use the “woman shrugging” emoji, seemingly indicating that she’s also questioning where SAG-AFTRA stands on the matter that has become headline news in the time since the story broke late last month, particularly on highly viewed trade sites such as Deadline, Vulture, TVLine and even The Daily Mail, among others.
Considering the bulk of SAG-AFTRA members are on strike following the expiration of the TV/theatrical contract between the union and the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP), with the union calling for action as it “fights for the survival of our profession,” daytime performers don’t appear to be getting the attention they deserve.
SAG-AFTRA has yet to issue any statement concerning the situation at “Days of our Lives” despite conditions behind the scenes having allegedly been swept under the rug for several years under Alarr’s leadership, some of which were detailed in new allegations published by Deadline about Alarr and his alleged behavior while on set.
“During love scenes, [Alarr] has been inserting himself into them like, ‘Let me show you how to do it’, which, even in and of itself as this is awkward and uncomfortable,” a source told Deadline in response to the outlet’s reporting that the producer “not only has made crude directing comments onstage, but he also does it over a loudspeaker for cast and crew to hear his remarks about the sexiness of a risqué scene or the actress involved in it.”
Another actress told the publication that Alarr had been “flirtatious” with her. “We’re all adults but there is a line at work, and the flirtation happens often, and it would go with a hug and then a lingering hug and then his famous line; if he said something derogatory or sexual, it always came with a chuckle and ‘A good thing there’s no HR.’ I can’t tell you the amount of times I heard that,” they elaborated. Further, they stated, “I’ve had moments on set where he has chosen to physically move me or tries to be my co-star in dry block,” the actress said, referring to onstage camera rehearsals. “And then he does his Albert giggle, and we just keep moving because that’s what you do on this show. Otherwise, who knows, you get fired if you say anything.”
As for SAG-AFTRA, daytime performers are contractually obligated to continue working as their contract, the National Code of Fair Practice for Network Television Broadcasting (aka Network Television Code), was signed by the union last year (retroactive to 2021) and is not set to expire until July 2024, meaning that even though daytime actors are out there joining their fellow members on the picket lines they are still required to fulfill their contract responsibilities. Current programs covered by the contract include the likes of “Good Morning America,” “Tamron Hall,” “The Young and the Restless,” “Jeopardy,” “Saturday Night Live,” “The Voice,” “So You Think You Can Dance,” “Last Week Tonight with John Oliver,” the Academy Awards and the Super Bowl, among a host of others.
Zucker, the most vocal current cast member at “Days of our Lives” to speak out in response to the allegations brought against Alarr, commented on a post by former co-star Farah Galfond (ex-Mimi Lockhart), who detailed her experience working under the direction of Alarr as she filmed her first ever on-screen love scene when she was just 19 years old back in 2003.
Galfond shared, “I had the particular misfortune of having Alarr direct my first ever ‘love’ scene when I was 19. He was new so I was already nervous not having one of the other directors that I was used to. I was extremely modest and freaked out to be standing in my underwear in front of dozens of crew (aka men that had known me since I was 15…ew) and did Albert do or say one little thing to make me feel remotely at ease? Absolutely not. He pushed and pushed and pushed and pushed me on a particular issue, and was annoyed when I stood my ground.” She added, “20 years later and I still feel sad about that day yet happy I set a boundary. But MAN would it have been nice to have a WOMAN direct that scene and make sure I felt protected instead of exposed,” Galfond pointed out. “It’s been hard for me to read the news. I guess I’m shocked he learned nothing after the me too movement. Or by …hello?? The cast & crew’s appalled reactions to him on daily basis??”
“Thank you Farah! Your words matter,” said Zucker responding to Galfond’s tweet. “Knowing you are not alone may not only start to ease what you and many others have gone through, but saying something is everything. Love you always! #Womentakingourpowerback MOVEMENT.”
Last month, Zucker told fans/followers, “Hello Wonderful ‘DAYS’ Fans and supporters! In light of the recent information, trust in knowing that your love and messages mean everything. Also know that we are all supporting each other. Cast and crew! It takes a village. Just hang tight…”
On Friday, July 28, Deadline revealed that “Days of our Lives” opted to extend its planned two-week break by one additional week after the filming schedule was released showing Alarr’s name as director for the Friday, August 4 episode (which would air sometime next year). Reportedly the news upset those impacted by Alarr’s alleged conduct. As of Wednesday, August 2, Alarr remains the show’s co-executive producer, which is why more than 25 cast members signed a petition requesting he be dismissed and be replaced with someone who the cast can respect and trust.
Production on “Days of our Lives” is set to resume on Monday, August 7, barring any additional scheduling changes.