Soap actress Victoria Rowell (ex-Drucilla Winters, The Young and the Restless) has been none-too-shy about her displeasure with CBS and Sony for their lack of diversity behind and in front of the cameras, and the actress is now taking her complaints to another level. She is filing a formal complaint in federal court against CBS, Sony Pictures Television, and other entities with the claim that she was denied re-employment on Y&R because of her comments regarding the aforementioned companies' lack of diversity.
Rowell quickly became a fan favorite in the role of Drucilla Winters, which she originated in 1990, but reportedly left the show in 2007 following years of alleged racial discrimination, which Daytime Confidential says are described in the complaint. She claims to have shown interest in returning to the popular soap or its sister soap, The Bold and the Beautiful, since 2010, but her "attempts to rejoin have been denied by those in charge of hiring at Sony and Bell-Phillip Television Production Inc., with CBS's CEO allegedly pulling their strings."
Rowell claims that the defendants rejected her re-employment due to her advocacy to increase the presence of African-Americans in the daytime genre, Y&R in particular. It goes on to state that she's been rejected despite the fact that African-American women compromise a large percentage of the soap's viewership and fans have been clamoring for her return.
The complaint also alleges that Congresswoman Maxine Waters supposedly reached out to CBS head Les Moonves to help mediate a possible Rowell return to Y&R. "Mr. Moonves responded that if Ms. Waters contacted him again on behalf of Ms. Rowell, he would report her to the House Ethics Committee," Rowell's filing claimed. "It is unclear what Mr. Moonves thought was unethical about Ms. Waters advocating for a constituent, but his response certainly showed Mr. Moonves' hostility."
As far back as 2010, in an interview with soapcentral.com's Dan J Kroll, Rowell discussed feeling that she was targeted for her push for diversity.
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.
CBS has released the following statement: "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. We harbor no ill will toward Ms. Rowell, but we will vigorously defend this case."
What do you think about Rowell's complaints against CBS and Sony? Do you feel she has valid points? Or do you think she's fighting a losing battle, considering Y&R gives the Winters family front burner storylines? Share your thoughts in our Comments section below, on our message boards, or by submitting Feedback..