Former ‘Young and the Restless’ actor sues CBS and Sony Pictures.
A former ‘Young and Restless’ actor is currently suing CBS because allegedly, the network fired her after she advocated for more African American actors to join the cast.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, actress Victoria Rowell is currently suing CBS Corp. and Sony Pictures after the actress claimed the network fired her from working on the TV show. The former ‘Young and Restless’ star filed a lawsuit in February claiming that despite public interest in her role as Drucilla Barber Winters, CBS and Sony Pictures wouldn’t re-hire her because of “outspokenness about increasing the presence of African-Americans both in front of and behind the camera in soap operas.”
But, it is going to be an uphill battle for Rowell as CBS and Sony Pictures have gone on the offensive.
The broadcaster and producers have not only thrown up an anticipated First Amendment challenge to such a claim, but have also cast doubt on the idea of an actress who is so popular, she doesn’t need to go through the formality of applying to support a legal claim of retaliation under the Fair Employment and Housing Act.
Rowell’s lawsuit “describes the numerous attempts of Plaintiff and those acting on her behalf to ask Defendants if she could ‘return to Y&R,’ but she never alleges she actually applied for any position,” states a motion to dismiss (read here).
CBS and Sony tell the judge there’s no requirement under FEHA that employers create new positions when asked. They say it would “open the floodgates” to lawsuits against employers.
As THR points out, CBS’s argument basically means that casting decisions are creative expressions protected by the First Amendement. The same argument was used by ABC when the network allegedly chose to feature whit cast members more than non-white cast members on ‘The Bachelor’.