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Image Credit: Victoria Rowell Official Twitter

Victoria Rowell’s lawsuit against 'The Young and the Restless' is on again

For over a year, Victoria Rowell has been contending that the Sony produced soap opera The Young and the Restless won’t rehire her to play the role of Drucilla, a part that Rowell vacated in 2007, due to Rowell’s outspoken activism regarding Y&R’s dearth of African-American actors, writers, and directors. The suit also alleges that Rowell faced racial discrimination during her 14 years of starring on the soap and that she was never offered the opportunity to either write or direct the program. Rowell continues to seek back pay and a return to playing Dru.

When I first wrote about this suit last year, I invoked the cases of other actors who have been treated less than well by their respective shows.

There is Matthew Ashford: Jack on Days of Our Lives. He’s been hired, fired, rehired, recast, killed off, brought back from the dead, killed off again, and generally jerked around to the point where many actors would have walked in frustration. Ashford, however, most recently returned for a short stint as a ghost in Jack’s widow’s drug-induced nightmare hallucination. There is also General Hospital’s Robyn Richards: fired, recast, rehired, and fired again. As the World Turns actors have been axed for personal reasons, and Days of Our Lives actors have been let go when the performer the producers really wanted suddenly became available, to say nothing of multiple other instances. Show business is not exactly a pleasant work environment.

In November of 2015, a US District judge dismissed Rowell’s claim, citing Rowell’s inability to present any case law supporting the idea that a prima facie retaliation claim can be made by a failure to rehire. He did, however, leave open the possibility of revisiting the issue if Rowell could produce allegations that support a viable claim. Now, it looks like she has — or at least, a California federal judge has agreed to let her lawsuit proceed now that Rowell has amended her charges to include allegations that, when she wanted to try out for a role on DOOL, another Sony show, her name was not included on the audition list.

Rowell reminisced positively about her time on Y&R in 2011 for the book Soap Opera 451: A Time Capsule of Daytime Drama’s Greatest Moments, which, in the interest of full disclosure, I wrote:

“There was a responsibility, all the way around, for the actors to do the best job that we possibly could. Obviously, being leading African-American actors in a genre that typically is not African-American in front of the camera in large numbers, I knew that this was an awesome opportunity.

You don’t stay in a storyline if you’re not selling a story, and if you’re not selling the story, you don’t stay employed. At the end of the day, this is about keeping a show on the air, and a show that’s selling soap. You’re selling products. I understood the business dynamics behind keeping the story alive and juicy, and performing with integrity. Those were all the behind-the-scenes dynamics that go through my mind when I’m working on a soap opera.

The characters of Drucilla and Malcolm (Shemar Moore), they’re iconic soap figures. With no race involved, they’re just iconic. I think because Shemar and myself also navigate though primetime and film, this helped further and grow an audience for our daytime characters. I think that the characters were explosive; they were also sympathetic and vulnerable characters, and very relatable characters. They got in trouble, they fell in love, they were in a love triangle, and I believe they not only captured the interest domestically, but Y&R is licensed to over a hundred countries around the globe, from the continent of Africa to the continent of Europe. It shows twice a day in the Caribbean. It’s not an accident that we captured not only the domestic audience, but also the international audience. The humanity of these characters really resonated with the audience at large, in the millions. I thought it was soap opera at its finest. I’m very, very grateful that it endures today.”

What do you think? Is Y&R cutting off its nose to spite its face by not rehiring Rowell, or has the show moved on and there is no longer room for Dru on the canvas? Tell us in the comments below!

TV Families | EW.com
Mark Harris
February 23, 1990 AT 05:00 AM EST

The Bradys are back, with a passel of 90’s hassles. Do they represent the typical American Family? Did they ever? Who does? Stare and compare!

Kind Of Family
TheBradyBunch 1969-74: Blended
The Bradys 1990-: Enormous
Married…With Children 1987-: Postnuclear
Thirtysomething 1987-: Extended
The Flintstones 1960-66: Modern Stone Age

Family Pet
The Brady Bunch: Tiger
The Bradys: Alice
Married…With Children: Buck
Thirtysomething: Grendel
The Flintstones: Dino

Typical Guest Star
The Brady Bunch: Davey Jones
The Bradys: There’s no room
Married…With Children: Sam Kinison
Thirtysomething: Carly Simon
The Flintstones: Ann Margrock

Expression Of Joy
The Brady Bunch: Groovy!
The Bradys: Ritual hugging
Married…With Children: ”Oh, great.”
Thirtysomething: ”Of course I’m happy for you. Really. But what about me? Why does it always have to be about you?
The Flintstones: ”Yabba-dabba doo

Expression Of Rage

The Brady Bunch: ”Hmmm…”
The Bradys: ”If you back away from something you really want, then you’re a quitter!” (the angriest any Brady has ever been)
Married…With Children: ”Aaagh, God, take me from this miserable life!”
Thirtysomething: ”I’m not angry, OK?”
The Flintstones: ”Willllmaaaa!”

Typical Problem
The Brady Bunch: Marcia and her rival both want to be the prom queen.
The Bradys: Bobby gets paralyzed.
Married…With Children: Al doesn’t buy his family Christmas presents.
Thirtysomething: Nancy gets cancer.
The Flintstones: Fred and Barney are staying out too late.

Typical Solution
The Brady Bunch: The prom committee decides to have two queens.
The Bradys: Bobby gets married.
Married…With Children: They hate him.
Thirtysomething: If only we knew…
The Flintstones: Wilma and Betty decide to follow them.

House Style
The Brady Bunch: Conservative but mod, circa ’69
The Bradys: Conservative but mod, circa ’90
Married…With Children: Roach motel
Thirtysomething: Enviable
The Flintstones: Suburban cave

Clothing Style
The Brady Bunch: Early Osmonds
The Bradys: Made in the USA
Married…With Children: Flammable fabrics
Thirtysomething: Eclectic earth tones; nice ties
The Flintstones: One-piece

Most Annoying Character
The Brady Bunch: Alice’s cousin Emma, the substitute housekeeper (too strict)
The Bradys: Marcia’s husband, Wally (chronically unemployable)
Married…With Children: Steve (supercilious)
Thirtysomething: Ellyn (goes through Hope’s drawers, babbles, changes hairstyle every other week, generally mistreats her friends)
The Flintstones: Mr. Slate (bossy)

Attitude Toward Sex
The Brady Bunch: Never heard of it
The Bradys: Omigod — even Cindy does it!
Married…With Children: Peg: Yes. Al: No.
Thirtysomething: They didn’t get all those kids by accident.
The Flintstones: Prehistoric

How Spouses Fight
The Brady Bunch: They don’t.
The Bradys: Infrequently, but it happens
Married…With Children: Tooth and nail
Thirtysomething: They stop talking
The Flintstones: Fred and Barney go bowling while Wilma and Betty max out their charge cards.

How Kids Get Into Trouble
The Brady Bunch: Greg takes a puff of a cigarette.
The Bradys: Carol’s grandson steals her business cards and sticks them in the spokes of Bobby’s wheelchair.
Married…With Children: By committing felonies
Thirtysomething: Ethan plays with a forbidden toy rocket.
The Flintstones: They don’t.

How They’re Punished

The Brady Bunch: ”It’s not what you did, honey — it’s that you couldn’t come to us.”
The Bradys ”Next time, ask.”
Married…With Children: By the authorities
Thirtysomething: It blows up in his face.
The Flintstones: They’re not.

What Family Does For Fun
The Brady Bunch: Takes special three-part vacations to Hawaii and the Grand Canyon
The Bradys: Has flashbacks
Married…With Children: Exchanges insults
Thirtysomething: Talks
The Flintstones: Attends showings of The Monster at the Bedrock Drive-In

Unsolved Mysteries
The Brady Bunch: How exactly did Carol’s first husband and Mike’s first wife die?
The Bradys: What’s with Marcia’s new face and Bobby’s blonde hair
Married…With Children: What kind of hair spray does Peg use?
Thirtysomething: Why did Nancy take Elliot back? What do Gary and Susanna see in each other?
The Flintstones: How does Barney’s shirt stay on if he has no shoulders? Where do Fred and Wilma plug in their TV?

Worst Behavior
The Brady Bunch: The Brady children once made Alice feel under-appreciated.

The Bradys: Marcia’s son Mickey watches Bobby’s car-crash tape for fun.
Married…With Children: The Bundy’s kill their neighbor’s dog.
Thirtysomething: Elliot has an affair and talks about it.
The Flintstones: Characters don’t wear under-clothes.

Best Reason To Watch
The Brady Bunch: This is what life should be.
The Bradys: They’re all grown-ups now!
Married…With Children: Terry Rakolta hates it.
Thirtysomething (Tie) This is your life. This isn’t your life.
The Flintstones: This is what life might have been.

Best Reason Not To Watch
The Brady Bunch: Blurred vision from rerun overdoses.
The Bradys: You’re all grown-ups now.
Married…With Children: She has a point.
Thirtysomething: After a while, you think it’s real.
The Flintstones: The Simpsons

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