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Old 02-11-2015, 08:15 PM   #1
JamesG
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Exclamation Update: Court Dismisses Victoria Rowell's "Y&R" Lawsuit

Ex-Y&R Star Hits CBS & Sony Pictures TV with Retaliation Lawsuit
by Dominic Patten
February 11, 2015



Eight years after leaving the long running soap opera, Victoria Rowell is taking the network and the producers to court today for not letting her back – and she directly blames Les Moonves.

In a just filed lawsuit in federal court in NYC, the actress who played Drucilla Winters on "The Young and the Restless" from 1990 to 2007 claims CBS, Sony Pictures Television, Bell Dramatic Serial Company and Bell-Phillip Television production Inc. are distinctly not allowing her back on "Y&R" or "B&B".





Why? Because of her public advocacy of greater diversity on the soaps, she says. That’s a violation of federal law and California’s Fair Employment and Housing Act, today’s jury seeking complaint claims. It alleges that Rowell was being “impoverished and blackballed because she had chosen to speak out against the discrimination and injustice that she had endured and witnessed happen to other African Americans.

We were disappointed to learn that, 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,” said CBS in a statement today.

We harbor no ill will toward Ms. Rowell, but we will vigorously defend this case.





Trying unsuccessfully to get back on the soap as the popular character since 2010, the actress says that “the Defendants have disregarded their own self-interest in their efforts to retaliate against Ms. Rowell.

In her claims of retaliation complaint, Rowell now wants a variety of unspecified damages, including back pay, front pay and benefits. She also wants “an order directing Defendants to re-employ Ms. Rowell on Y&R, or at least to consider her seriously for re-employment on Y&R without regard to her prior efforts to address the discrimination that she perceived at Defendants.





In fact, deep within the filing’s details of Rowell’s efforts to increase diversity on the soap, her desire to get back on it and meetings with the likes of SPT’s Steven Mosko and bigger boss Michael Lynton, is this odd gem involving CBS boss Moonves.

Sensing from both Bradley Bell’s and Steven Kent’s comments that the decisions were being made at a higher level, meaning at CBS, in March 2011, Ms. Rowell exchanged emails with Leslie Moonves, CBS’s President and Chief Executive Officer, about her desire to return to Y&R or start a new role on B&B,” the 48-page document claims.

Mr. Moonves responded that he no longer was involved in programming or casting for those shows, and suggested that she seek help elsewhere. The suggestion that CBS was not involved in decision-making was not true.





After many months of advocacy with CBS and Sony officials on behalf of Ms. Rowell, National Urban League President Morial told Ms. Rowell that in his opinion Mr. Moonves opposed Ms. Rowell’s return to any CBS show, likely because of her advocacy for increased African American employment in front of and behind the camera,” the suit later alleges.

There’s also an exchange where Congresswoman Maxine Waters supposedly tries to “advocate” with Moonves to put Rowell back on the show.

Mr. Moonves responded that if Ms. Waters contacted him again on behalf of Ms. Rowell, he would report her to the House Ethics Committee,” says today’s filing. “It is unclear what Mr. Moonves thought was unethical about Ms. Waters advocating for a constituent, but his response certainly showed Mr. Moonves’ hostility.





Rowell’s views on the diversity in the soaps world is nothing new – at least not on social media. On the 41st anniversary of Y&R in 2014, she posted a series of tweets chastising the show.

Young & Restless on air for 40 years, loyally watched by their absolute competitive-edge audience (blacks) & not ONE black Exec PRODUCER?,” the actress wrote.

Just last week on Twitter, the 2-time Daytime Emmy nominee reiterated that long held stance: "#BlackHistoryMonth NOT BlkMysteryMonth. NO blk exec producers HIRED in soap opera industry though advertisers/producers depend on AAspending."

http://deadline.com/2015/02/young-an...rt-1201371192/
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Last edited by JamesG; 11-11-2015 at 06:14 PM.
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Old 02-11-2015, 11:15 PM   #2
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I did love Victoria's portrayal of Drucilla, thought she was an asset to the show and was disappointed when she left, but this is ridiculous. She made the decision to leave the show, and when she begs to be rehired years later and they refuse, she plays the race card all the way to the courtroom? I wonder how long it will take before this case gets thrown out.
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Old 02-12-2015, 05:33 AM   #3
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I just don't understand people. Why on earth try forcing yourself into a situation where you're obviously not wanted? I don't force myself on people who make it plain they don't want me around. I just don't get it. I mean I guess she has a point about there being a lack of diversity but I don't think suing them is going to help matters any. Oh well, it's not something that really interests me that much to begin with.

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Old 02-13-2015, 01:12 PM   #4
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I read an article in the NY Daily News that Rowell also claims harassment at the studio.

Her lawsuit states, "White actors and actresses taunted Ms. Rowell and the stylist with impunity, and told Ms. Rowell that her hair 'smelled'."

Rowell says that Melody Thomas Scott mockingly wore an oversized afro wig on set and Michelle Stafford spat on her calling her a "freak" and screamed "no one here likes you!"

http://www.nydailynews.com/entertain...icle-1.2111756
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Old 02-13-2015, 02:53 PM   #5
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Somebody needs to tell her to get over herself.
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Old 02-17-2015, 03:46 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JamesG
I read an article in the NY Daily News that Rowell also claims harassment at the studio.

Her lawsuit states, "White actors and actresses taunted Ms. Rowell and the stylist with impunity, and told Ms. Rowell that her hair 'smelled'."

Rowell says that Melody Thomas Scott mockingly wore an oversized afro wig on set and Michelle Stafford spat on her calling her a "freak" and screamed "no one here likes you!"

http://www.nydailynews.com/entertain...icle-1.2111756
I don't know if Melody ever responded to this, but I know Michelle Stafford responded calling her out on her nonsense. Considering how insane she is with this lawsuit, I am not inclined to believe either accusation against Melody or Michelle.
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Old 02-17-2015, 05:57 PM   #7
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wow, this is turning into a real soap opera!

seriously though, they should just increase the hiring diversity on the show and go ahead and get this black producer that she mentioned - and then stay the heck away from this crazy person that intends to sue everyone on the planet until no one wants to work with her.
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Old 02-23-2015, 12:56 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by robyrob
wow, this is turning into a real soap opera!

seriously though, they should just increase the hiring diversity on the show and go ahead and get this black producer that she mentioned - and then stay the heck away from this crazy person that intends to sue everyone on the planet until no one wants to work with her.
I don't think she's crazy at all. She has a point.
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Old 11-11-2015, 06:13 PM   #9
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CBS & Sony Win Dismissal of Ex-Y&R Star’s Retaliation Claims
by Dominic Patten
November 11, 2015



Victoria Rowell isn’t getting her old job back on the long-running soap, and she’s not getting far with her retaliation lawsuit against CBS, Sony Pictures Television and producers.

Plaintiff’s first and second causes of action for failure to rehire on Y&R are dismissed, with leave to amend, if Plaintiff can do so in good faith and in conformance with the analysis in this Order,” a federal judge told the former "The Young & The Restless" actress yesterday.





This doesn’t mean Rowell’s 9-month legal pursuit of the network and the producers for not putting her back on the show she “reluctantly” left in 2007 is completely over.

For instance, Judge John Kronstadt rejected CBS and Sony’s First Amendment and anti-SLAPP moves against her case. However, the actress got a hard amended road ahead in terms of the retaliation claims in trying to prove she was punished because of being outspoken about the need for greater diversity on Y&R and other soaps.



Attempting to re-join the show since 2010, Rowell has claimed that not only has CBS and Sony refused to heed fans’ demands and bring her back to Y&R, but that they have “worked behind the scenes” to hamper her ability to appear at paid speaking events and conferences.

The judge disagreed on the latter allegations and dismissed them too.









But the return to Y&R is the real heart of this case, which Rowell first filed in NY in February.

The actress’ first amended complaint, filed subsequently this year, “does not allege that Plaintiff applied for an open position on Y&R after she left the program,” wrote the U.S District Judge on November 10. “Indeed, it does not allege that there ever was an open position on Y&R for which she was qualified.



Plaintiff cites no case law that supports her position that a prima facie retaliation claim can be made due to an alleged failure to rehire as a result of a refusal to create a new position or reopen an old one,” Judge Kronstadt adds.

Part of Rowell’s multi-headed argument is that a return to the Drucilla Barber Winters role she played for 17 years on Y&R should be no big deal because characters are killed off or leave soaps and come back all the time.



Rowell “claims that there is always a position that is constructively open,” said the judge. “This alone is not a sufficient basis to state a claim. Indeed, such an approach has the potential to open the door to vast number and wide variety of claims in many industries in which those who did not pursue open positions claimed that employers should have created them.

So, in true soap style, now it’s all a question of what further filing walks through the courtroom door.

http://deadline.com/2015/11/the-youn...on-1201618749/
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Old 11-11-2015, 07:00 PM   #10
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The attention whore is now going to have to go back to the drawing board to think of another "woe is me" stunt.
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Old 08-01-2019, 09:11 PM   #11
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Victoria Rowell ended up getting a settlement, probably just enough money to make her go away.
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Old 08-10-2019, 06:29 PM   #12
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Victoria did recently appear on the memorial episode for the character of Neil Winters after the passing of actor Kristoff St. John, who played her husband on the show. She didn't appear as Drucilla, though, just as herself, talking about working with Kristoff for all of those years, so hopefully there has been an end to the riff between Victoria and the show...
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