In the latest installment of the post soap opera drama that has followed Victoria Rowell, the award-winning actress has filed a lawsuit against CBS, Sony Pictures Television, Bell Dramatic Serial Company and Bell-Phillip Television Production Inc. for not allowing her back on the “The Young And The Restless” despite her five-year attempt to return.
The 55-year-old actress, who played the character Drucila Winters on “The Young And The Restless” from 1990 to 2007, filed her lawsuit in New York federal court claiming that the defendants in her lawsuit conspired to keep her off the top-rated daytime soap because of her “public advocacy of greater diversity on the soaps.”
Rowell said the parties she’s suing are in violation of federal law and California’s Fair Employment and Housing Act and she’s seeking a jury trial on the matter.
Additionally, the recently-divorced, Portland, Maine native offers in the suit that she was “impoverished and blackballed because she had chosen to speak out against the discrimination and injustice that she had endured and witnessed happen to other African Americans.”
Rowell has publicly expressed interest in returning to “The Young And The Restless” since 2010. Her petitions to return to the show that had her character depart by falling off a cliff, have been ignored by the network.
Her suit offers that “the Defendants have disregarded their own self-interest in their efforts to retaliate against Ms. Rowell.”
In her claims of retaliation complaint, Rowell is seeking a variety of unspecified damages, including back pay, front pay and benefits.
She is also asking for “an order directing Defendants to re-employ Ms. Rowell on Y&R or at least to consider her seriously for re-employment on Y&R without regard to her prior efforts to address the discrimination that she perceived at Defendants.”
CBS denied Rowell’s claims in a statement released on Wednesday and they intend to fight it.
“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,” said the network.