Amid vocal cries that its behind-the-scenes staff lacks diversity, The Young and the Restless has reached a deal to bring Emmy-winning writer/director Susan Dansby into the fold as a scriptwriter. Dansby is African American.
"Good news on the job front!" Dansby rejoiced via Twitter. "Got 6-week script writing trial with Y&R. Will start in February!"
Former Y&R diva Victoria Rowell (ex-Drucilla Winters) has been vocal in her desire to see The Young and the Restless add men and women of color as writers, directors, producers, makeup artists, hairstylists -- all areas where the actress said the show failed to feature diversity.
"Congrats Susan on being first Black staff writer on Young & Restless in 37yrs!" Rowell posted on her Twitter account. "Hiring a Black writer is historic change for the #1 soap opera in America."
Earlier this month, after conferencing with Rowell, the National Urban League sent letters to CBS and Sony Pictures Television, Y&R's production company, to urge the top-rated soap to make sure that its roster is more representative of its viewing audience.
"With regard to The Young and the Restless, we are proud of the fact that five African American actors play important roles on the program, and we are especially grateful for the diverse audience it has every day," Jim Kennedy, executive vice president for Global Communications at Sony Pictures Entertainment, said in a statement.
CBS, meanwhile, feels that Rowell's comments have been off the mark.
"We have great respect for Victoria Rowell, but strongly disagree with her statements about diversity," the network said in a statement. "CBS is very committed to diversity and inclusiveness throughout the company -- including Daytime, where we feature diverse talent in all programming."
Prior to joining The Young and the Restless, Dansby, a four-time Daytime Emmy winner, was a member of the writing staff of As the World Turns from 2000 through the show's cancellation. Dansby also has experience on the set, having worked as a director on As the World Turns, Generations, Guiding Light, and Port Charles, and as an associate producer on General Hospital.
Dansby is also the author of How Did You Get That Job?, a self-help book that chronicles how she beat long odds to land a career in the world of soap operas.