Jeanne Cooper

All this Y&R backstage drama is not a good color on anyone.

It is no one’s business why Y&R chose not to pick up Michael Muhney’s contract option after five years of playing Adam Newman. Obviously, something happened behind the scenes that had serious legal and HR ramifications for at least two of the actors. It affects their careers and should not have been leaked.

Soap Opera Digest 1/13/14

Soap Opera Digest 1/13/14

This is nothing new on Daytime, or in the entertainment industry. Bad things happen backstage, and actors get fired all the time. What’s new here is that Y&R was not able to keep this confidential to protect their actors, or frankly, their brand. That’s too bad. Some fans went mental on social media possessing none of the facts, leading to a feeding frenzy that was harmful to all involved. No one could speak on the record about what happened since it’s a legal matter; the gossip spiraled.

Here’s me: Do you like Y&R? Then watch it. Are you disappointed in the direction the storylines have taken? Then don’t. But stop going after various actors on social media when you don’t have the facts. Legally, you can’t have them. So leave it alone.

Personally, I don’t think fans really WANT to know if their faves are jerks. Or alcoholics. Or cocaine addicts. Or cheat on their spouses. Or abuse their spouses. Or open their robes just enough to flash the young female extras. Or have Alzheimer’s Disease. Normally, the show keeps it quiet and the actor cleans up their act or gets fired. (Or in the case of older actors with dementia, get quietly phased out.) Once in a while, an actor beats up an ATM machine or drives drunk or gets caught in a crack den and the arrest goes public. Is that negative information really conducive to you enjoying your show?

Each of the remaining four soaps works very hard to put out a product that they can be proud of, and we can enjoy. Backstage problems hamper that effort. If an actor can’t be reined in, they need to be let go. This includes their behavior on Twitter. Don’t get me wrong, I find Twitter as entertaining as most of you do. I enjoy reading actors’ takes on their shows, projects, lives, politics, sports teams. But Twitter is a double-edged sword for some people – like Michael Muhney.

Regardless of what happened backstage at Y&R, Muhney was clearly divisive on his show, and on Daytime in general. How do you think the GH cast and crew felt when Muhney trashed Tony Geary (Luke) after he won his record 7th Emmy for Lead Actor?

“Some old guy who has won a bunch of Emmys wins again? Is that really what soaps need to grow a NEW audience? We need new judges’ panels.”

– Michael Muhney on Twitter, June 23, 2012

Imagine if he had written that about Jeanne Cooper, who worked right up to the end at 84? Like I said, not a good color.

I recently ran into a guy who worked crew on an east coast soap. We got talking about the old days, and I asked him what was the most surprising thing he saw in 20 years working on Daytime. He replied, “The time we got the call that BIG NAME had been arrested in the mens’ room at Grand Central Station for soliciting young boys.” Even I hadn’t heard that one, and I am SO glad. Aren’t you?!