Most folks in the soap world were waiting for a #metoo bomb to drop. It did today. “The Young and the Restless” head writer/head producer Mal Young is about to be sued for abusive treatment of his staff. Folks in the know have said he was never easy to begin with, but when he was named head writer and executive producer, he became unbearable.
A few months back, one star went on Facebook, posting about low morale on the set. The multiple Emmy winner was taken to task. He was forced to go online and claim his account was hacked. Even so, this once-pivotal castmate might as well have his picture on a milk carton. One veteran “Y&R” scribe was disgusted by his treatment that she not only quit the show, she got out of the business. For now, most actors are being silent. Especially as Steve Kent, an executive producer at Sony, may also be named in the suit. Sony frowns on bad PR. A few years back, an executive used company email to degrade some major stars. The poster was axed. They could not even get a job in the Sony mailroom.
To be fair, not so great behavior is nothing new. One daytime casting agent who now works in film made it be known she did not care if they were good in the audition as long as they were good in the sack. The casting director got three marriages out of that ploy. In “Tootsie,” the soap actor who greeted new leading ladies with a French kiss was based on a soap actor whose nickname was DR. He would show a new actress around the set and then ram his tongue down her neck.
Several years ago, a “Y&R” actor was let go because he kept fondling one nubile actress. One producer male producer would hire an actor he was interested in, fire the actor and then replace him with his newest lover. Unlike a movie set, folks on a soap set often work together for decades. They may not all be close, but they all want respect for themselves and their co-workers.
This is a developing story. A very vocal actress on another soap is set to sing.
To find out more about Lynda Hirsch and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate webpage at www.creators.com.