Maria Arena Bell is speaking out about her dismissal from The Young and the Restless. Bell, who was relieved of her duties as executive producer and head writer, indicated that she has no idea why she was let go, and accused her bosses of not telling her directly that she'd been fired.
Just hours after it was announced that Maria Arena Bell had been replaced as The Young and the Restless' executive producer and head writer, Bell has offered her account of what happened. In a passionate message posted on Facebook, Bell argued that her tenure with Y&R was successful, and indicated that she has yet to be told why she was let go.
"So it was announced today I am leaving Y&R... the show I have loved so much for so long," Bell wrote. "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. They 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."
Bell took issue with claims that the show's deteriorating ratings led to her removal from the show.
"My ratings are strong... each week stronger than last year," Bell argued. "The 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. It has been an amazing ride."
Bell added that she was not told of her dismissal from the higher-ups at the network, but rather learned of the news second-hand. An exact reason for her termination, according to Bell, has yet to be given.
"So why am I leaving? I am mystified as are my cast and crew," Bell continued. "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. 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 [Bell, Jr.] 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&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&R. Your story was my life story too. And to Victor... Nikki... Jack... and Kay... I will miss you."
Jill Farren Phelps has been named Y&R's new executive producer. Josh Griffith is returning as the show's head writer. For more about Phelps and Griffith's additions to The Young and the Restless, please click here