Y&R: Real-Life Altercations Behind The ScenesPublished on August 12, 2022.
Year in and year out, The Young and the Restless (Y&R) is the most successful American daytime drama. Despite its abundance of accolades and screen icons, however, the CBS soap opera has endured its share of troubling reports and real-life dramas. From allegations of misconduct and abuse to co-stars getting into “fisticuffs”, these are bitter altercations from behind the scenes of Y&R!
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12. Eric Braeden Versus Peter Bergman
Let’s start with an infamous one! As the onscreen rivalry between Victor Newman and Jack Abbott reached new heights in 1991, tensions were spilling over between the co-stars in real life. “It is part of our history here,” Bergman told Michael Fairman TV. “Eric and I had a number of problems when I first came here and they climaxed in an ugly situation that Eric wished would never have happened and I certainly could have done without it in my life.”
While both stars remain tight-lipped regarding details about that “ugly situation”, Braeden revealed how they patched things up. “There was a time when I said to Peter, ‘Look, we may not like each other, but we are both good for the show,’” Braeden explained to Soap Opera Digest. “And he, of course, is a bright guy and agreed with me, and we have nothing but respect for each other, but it took a while to get to that point.”
11. Cast Versus Mal Young I
A devastating report emerged in 2018 about the toxic work culture at Y&R under former head writer Mal Young. According to SoapDirt, it was alleged that female actresses were leaving in droves due to a workplace that tolerated verbal abuse and sexual harassment. During this time, Mishael Morgan (ex-Hilary, current Amanda), Eileen Davidson (Ashley) and Christel Khalil (Lily) left the soap, while a female casting director also reportedly quit. Morgan lent some credibility to the rumors by liking an Instagram post which discussed “baaad mojo” on the soap, while Davidson later clarified that her departure had nothing to do with Young.
10. Cast Versus Mal Young II
Abhi Sinha, who portrayed Ravi, waded into the speculation with some ferocious allegations of his own. In an Instagram post (preserved on SoapDirt) which signaled his departure from the soap, Sinha hashtagged #MeToo and referenced a potential lawsuit against Young. “We all know from recent times that allegations and litigation can cancel shows and affect everyone on it,” he wrote, noting a “domino effect”. When asked in a comment why he wasn’t taking part in the lawsuit, Sinha answered, “I prefer to surround myself with human beings and not animals who treat women like pieces of meat”.
9. Terry Lester Versus Lauralee Bell
Terry Lester, who originally portrayed Jack Abbott, had a few reasons for leaving Y&R. But one cause, which he repeated often in the press, was that he was unimpressed with Lauralee Bell’s excessive screen-time. True enough, Cricket was huge in 1989 and had several storylines happening at once. But Bell bristled at Lester’s press attacks. “After the first two articles I thought, ‘OK,’” Bell told We Love Soaps at the time. “Now I am thinking, ‘Enough already.’” Was Lester right in accusing her father, Y&R creator William J. Bell, of nepotism? “When I first joined the show, it was with the condition if I could not handle it, then I would be off the show,” Lauralee Bell explained. “My father is a very smart businessman; he would not jeopardize the show for me.”
8. Terry Lester Versus… Everybody?
Viewers are happy that Peter Bergman was recast as Jack Abbott, but apparently not as happy as everyone on the set! In an interview with Entertainment Weekly (EW) Bergman revealed that Terry Lester had become a toxic presence behind the scenes of Y&R. “He had burned every bridge he could burn before he left,” Bergman said. “Had I showed up as anything less than an axe murderer, I would have been welcomed.”
7. Victoria Rowell Versus CBS
When Victoria Rowell, who portrayed fan-favorite Drucilla Winters, wasn’t permitted to rejoin the cast after an eight-year absence, she took her case to court. According to Deadline, Rowell’s 2015 lawsuit accused CBS, Sony Pictures Television, Bell Dramatic Serial Company, Bell-Phillip Television Production Inc, and Y&R’s producers of blacklisting her because of her criticisms that soap operas weren’t diverse enough. “After leaving the cast of The Young and the Restless on her own initiative, Ms. Rowell has attempted to rewrite that history through lawyers’ letters and a lawsuit that has no merit,” CBS responded in a statement. Two years later, the case was reportedly settled.
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6. Lynn Marie Latham VS Everyone
It was unclear who to thank when Y&R fired executive producer and head writer Lynn Marie Latham – the fans or the cast! Fans were so fed up with Latham’s storylines, which included Drucilla’s sudden demise and the Phyllis-is-actually-Sheila saga, that they organized a formal petition to have the head writer removed. Viewers were also angry to see beloved characters like Michael, Sharon and Lauren rewritten in uncharacteristic ways. Meanwhile, cast members murmured about Latham’s favoritism and how she would disrupt taping with her environmental causes. Everyone knew it was time for Y&R to make a change – everyone, that is, except Latham!
5. Eileen Davidson Versus Lynn Marie Latham
Another major reason viewers weren’t pleased with Latham’s tenure is because she fired Eileen Davidson, who plays Ashley Abbott. When SoapHub interviewed Davidson and asked her about the time she left Y&R for The Bold and the Beautiful (B&B), the star was quick to set the record straight. “I was actually fired from the Y&R. Let’s not soft-pedal it!” Davidson said with a laugh. “Brad [Bell, executive producer at B&B] put me on ice over there for a year or so waiting for the ‘winds to change’, so to speak, over at Y&R.” She and Bell must’ve had a feeling that things were going south for Latham, since she was indeed fired the following year.
4. Michael Muhney Versus Y&R
When Michael Muhney brought his incarnation of Adam Newman to Genoa City, Y&R fans were stunned by the depth of his portrayal. Sadly, the actor wound up being kicked off the hit CBS soap after allegations came to light that he sexually harassed co-star Hunter King. Muhney has since revealed that he considered ending it all “over a grotesque internet rumor and a lie”. He claims to still pay the price for the allegation in 2022, tweeting, “in this hyper-angry world we live in, too many critical folks would post negative comments” to productions he had screen-tested for.
3. Michael Muhney Versus Eric Braeden
Another altercation that factored into Muhney’s exit was an explosive argument with co-star Eric Braeden. “During that shouting match, all kinds of things were said,” Braeden told Radar Online. “I was prompted to get into ‘fisticuffs’ with him because he wanted me off the show. It was Muhney who wanted to get me off the show and he expressed that to various people.” Muhney had less to say about that stand-off, telling Huffington Post after his exit, “If there were disagreements in the past with Eric, for me, it has to be history”.
2. Brenda Dickson Versus William J. Bell
Brenda Dickson became a huge star as the original Jill Foster when Y&R debuted in 1973. As she alleges, she also began an affair with the show’s creator, William J. Bell. After being fired from the soap 15 years later, Dickson accused Bell of blacklisting her, as well as hiring “Mafia cartel judges and attorneys” to hound her. She also attempted to sue him for $10 million dollars. Bell passed away in 2005, and the accusations have yet to be proven.
1. Sony’s Budget Versus Eric Braeden
Good thing Braeden is a boxing enthusiast, because he sure doesn’t shy away from a fight! In 2009, when Sony’s new deal with the soap meant significant pay cuts for the cast, Braeden held out. The Moustache was even written off the show as negotiations continued, with Victor going to rehabilitation. “Rehabilitation… from the negotiations,” Braeden joked to EW. “He’s been cured miraculously!” While both sides eventually agreed on a salary, co-star Peter Bergman admitted that everyone on the cast was focused on Braeden. “It wasn’t whether or not [Sony] were going to fold,” Bergman explained to EW. “It was always whether or not Eric was going to agree to come back for a lesser salary.”