It has been quite a year for The Young and the Restless, filled with shocking exits, marginalized characters, a big Daytime Emmy win, the tragic death of Kristoff St. John, and a regime change for the producers and head writer. Victor Newman actor Eric Braeden has been outspoken throughout the whole situation.
Last week, Braeden tweeted to his co-star, Gina Tognoni, who will exit the show as Phyllis Summers soon. Actress Michelle Stafford will resume the role she left more than five years ago some time this summer.
Braeden wrote, “To @ginatognoni! I hope your weekend was a good one! You are a hell of an actress and a damned nice colleague! Just want you to know!”
“Thank you, my friend! You’re an original gangster, and everybody knows it, the actress replied.
Recently, Braeden discussed the past year with Soap Opera Digest. During the conversation, Braeden spoke out about how important fans are to the soap opera genre, and explained how social media helps those in charge of the show hear their voices. In many instances, Braeden pointed out that three generations of family members watch a soap, which is something that other TV genres don’t always have.
“The characters grow on people. They become part of their lives. A lot don’t realize that and think they can replace one with the other,” said Braeden.
He explained how it causes damage to replace actors and actresses like that with the obvious exception of if somebody needs to leave the show, but the character is integral to the storylines with stories left to tell. Braeden appreciates how fans have an enormous influence, thanks in part to social media, because they’ve been such loyal and long-time viewers of the show.
Last year, Doug Davidson’s disappearance from the canvas as police chief Paul Williams with no explanation at all enraged viewers, and they were incredibly outspoken about the situation. Braeden joined them in championing his former co-star with several series tweets speaking out about how ridiculous it was to oust the cast’s longest-serving member for seemingly no reason.
Eventually, after Mal Young left the show and Josh Griffith returned as co-executive producer and head writer, Davidson and his character, Paul returned to the storylines at long last — again with no explanation of why he was gone in the first place. Braeden played a large part in putting pressure on the people in charge, which led to Davidson’s return.
Even though it seems as if she was let go, Tognoni is filled with peace about the change, according to The Inquisitr. As for Braeden, it sounds like he plans to continue being outspoken about the show on social media and helping ensure that fans’ voices are heard.