The Young and the Restless star Beth Maitland recently revealed how her on-screen alter ego, Traci Abbott, is like Katherine Chancellor used to be for the residents of Genoa City.
Over the past year, Beth Maitland has appeared as Traci Abbott more frequently than she had in the past several years. She’s portrayed the Abbott sibling for nearly 38 years on the show, and Maitland admitted that she loves being included in the storylines regularly. Without Traci, Genoa City seems to lack a moral compass these days.
“I think in the older days, Katherine Chancellor was the moral center of Genoa City. She was the one who would tell it like it is, even with Victor… You need bad guys and good guys and those who are tempted. But there has to be a fulcrum to that teeter-totter. For the Abbott family, it was John, and for Genoa City as a whole, it was Katherine,” Maitland noted.
“To me, that’s what makes soaps human,” she continued. “It maintains the balance to a family, to a community. It makes everyone accountable for their actions. Somebody has to say, ‘That’s not right!’ I love that somebody is me!”
In recent storylines, Traci is the one who calmly and consistently doles out useful advice and tells people when they aren’t behaving well. The reason she might be considered a moral authority is that Traci never pursued a career with Jabot like the rest of her family. Instead, she’s enjoyed success in writing after experiencing plenty of heartache and struggles throughout the years.
Last year, Traci worked with Jack (Peter Bergman) to track down Dina’s (Marla Adams) shocking family secret, which led to them finding out that Theo (Tyler Johnson) is their nephew. In the same storyline, Traci penned the Abbott family history into a new novel, which nearly everybody in Genoa City, including Nikki (Melody Thomas Scott), has read.
So far, she hasn’t weighed in on Billy’s (Jason Thompson) breakup with Victoria (Amelia Heinle). Still, if anybody could talk some sense into him regarding the direction he is headed, it might be Traci. Although it is not at all unusual for Billy to self destruct, this time seems different because Billy is unwilling even to try to work on himself. He wants his family and friends to accept him for who he is — flaws and all. It is possible that Traci might end up being the person who can do this for Billy, which could also provide some healing.
One thing Traci hasn’t had much of lately, though, is love. She and Cane (Daniel Goddard) briefly enjoyed an attraction, but for the most part, Traci has found solace in her writing as she helps care for Dina during Dina’s illness. Plus, Traci is always there to give her thoughts and advice when somebody comes to her for help. Traci is the thread that binds the fabric of the Y&R canvas together.