Victoria Rowell is said to now be suing CBS and Sony according to a report Wednesday from Daytime Confidential. In her claim, Rowell alleges CBS and Sony rejected her re-employment after she spoke out about the lack of African-American diversity in front of the camera and behind-the-scenes on the soap opera. Rowell had played fan favorite Drucilla Winters, and has tried to return to the number one CBS Daytime drama series for quite some time, but that has never materialized.
The release on the lawsuit reads: “Former ‘Young and the Restless’ star Victoria Rowell is filing a complaint in federal court against CBS, Sony Pictures and other defendants claiming that she was denied re-employment on the highest rated daytime soap opera in the country in retaliation for her public and private complaints regarding the lack of diversity in front of and behind the camera on the show.
Rowell became the first African American female with a leading role on The Young and the Restless in 1990 when she brought to life the role of Drucilla Barber Winters. She reluctantly left the show in 2007 after facing years of racial discrimination that are described in the complaint. During her tenure she won eleven NAACP Image Awards and received two Daytime EMMY nominations.
Starting in 2010 and continuing to date, Rowell has sought to return to the show or to its sister soap opera The Bold and the Beautiful. Her attempts to re-join have been denied by those in charge of hiring at Sony and at Bell-Phillip Television Production Inc., with CBS’s CEO allegedly pulling their strings.
Rowell claims the defendants rejected her re-employment in retaliation for Rowell’s public advocacy to increase the presence of African-Americans in daytime soap operas in general and on The Young and the Restless in particular. The complaint alleges that defendants have rejected her even though African American women, who comprise a huge percentage of the viewership for The Young and the Restless and for daytime soap operas in general, have clamored for Rowell’s return and rejected all of the defendants’ efforts to replace her on the show over the years.
Washington, DC-based law firm Mehri & Skalet, PLLC, along with New York City-based counsel Valli Kane and Vagnini LLP and California-based law firm, Hadsell Stormer & Renick LLP, represent Rowell in this new case.”
What do you think about Rowell suing CBS and Sony? A smart move? A PR ploy? Do Y&R fans just want to see this talented actress back in Genoa City, no matter what? Weigh-in below!