“As the Dust Settles”, could be the name of the soap within the soap with all the back stage drama unfolding at Y&R this week. As fans know, yesterday it became official that Maria Arena Bell was let-go in both her capacities, executive producer and head writer. In her place comes Jill Farren Phelps as EP and Josh Griffith as head writer. Bell took to her facebook page to let her initial feelings be read by fans of the series, and her colleagues. Below is what she had to say citing she was “mystified” at the decision and that no one at Sony or CBS gave her a reason why she was being terminated in both positions.
Maria Arena Bell : “So it was announced today I am leaving Y and R. .. the show I have loved so much for so long. It is the legacy of my father in law… my mother in law… and all the Bells. The show has been my heart and soul. I loved working with the most talented writers in TV who were also the most wonderful human beings I know. T hey became a second family and my best friends. I loved the cast and crew. I am extremely sad to go because there are more stories I could have told. So much more I wanted to do. My ratings are strong… each week stronger than last year. T he show is in a great place creatively. We are number one by the greatest margin in the show’s history and have been consistently while I’ve been there. Under no one else’s tenure as head writer exec producer have we won every demographic for so long. I am just shy of five years at the helm. I t has been an amazing ride. So why am I leaving? I am mystified as are my cast and crew. “There have been a lot of tears shed in the last few days… by me and by my loyal staff and by our iconic actors,” she continues. “I was not given a reason and in fact I have heard nothing from Sony or CBS.
They sent me a message through my husband Bill who had the terrible job of conveying that they’d gone around him and were letting me go. I fought hard for my vision and to keep the show on track with the characters that matter to the audience. Maybe I fought too hard. But I am glad I did. I never compromised on what I believed in. I never dumbed down the storytelling. I walked in the door at Y and R in 1988… as a young writer getting her first job. Today I leave there knowing it was one of the greatest experiences of my life. I love you Y and R. Your story was my life story too. And to Victor… Nikki… Jack… and Kay… I will miss you.”
So soapers and Y&R fans, what do you think about Maria’s farewell message? Let us know your thoughts after reviewing her comments!