On Wednesday, Hadsell Stormer & Renick LLP along with Washington D.C.-based Mehri & Skalet, PLLC, and New York City-based Valli Kane and Vagnini, LLP filed a lawsuit on behalf of former “Young and the Restless” star Victoria Rowell alleging that she was retaliated against by CBS, Sony Pictures, and other media companies in charge of the show’s production following her campaign to increase diversity in the daytime soap opera industry.
Rowell joined the cast of “The Young and the Restless” as Drucilla Barber Winters in 1990. After experiencing racial discrimination on the set, she reluctantly left the show in 2007. In 2010, after several years of speaking out about the lack of racial diversity on “The Young and the Restless” and other soap operas and pursuing writing opportunities, Rowell sought to return to “The Young and the Restless” or its sister show, “The Bold and the Beautiful.” Rowell claims executives at CBS, Sony, Bell Dramatic Serial Company and Bell-Phillip Television Production Inc. denied her re-employment because of her public appeals to hire more African Americans in front of and behind the camera on the #1-rated daytime program.
In addition to the lawsuit, a Change.org petition was submitted urging the Presidents of CBS and Sony to take steps to increase diversity in their programming.