The ongoing lawsuit with Victoria Rowell, Sony Pictures and Corday Productions might soon have a conclusion, because Days of Our Lives says they have a good reason they didn’t hire her. If California federal judge John Kronstadt believes their argument, Rowell’s suit might come to an end.
Rowell told her story to Oprah Winfrey in October and explained why she pursued the lawsuit to begin with.
“Here in Hollywood, I have long championed diversity, not only for African-Americans, but for all minorities, for gender bias, etc.” Rowell said in the Oprah: Where Are They Now? interview.
Some fans argue that Rowell is upset that The Young and the Restless moved on without her character, Drucilla Barber Winters, when she wanted to return in 2015. It was her decision to leave the soap in the first place back in 2007.
Her original claims were rejected about her return being rebuffed by Y&R due to her “outspoken campaign for diversity." She has subsequently called for a boycott of the daytime shows due to their lack of multiformity.
While Hollywood is still trying to catch up when it comes to reflecting what America looks like in film and TV, daytime soaps have been at the forefront of groundbreaking storylines. That’s why Ken Corday hopes to end this lawsuit once and for all.
This week, his lawyers fired back with a summary judgment motion and gave a simple reason why Rowell was not hired on DOOL — and it had nothing to do with her activism in the industry. It was about her veteran experience on daytime soaps.
"Rather, Plaintiff — who has years of daytime drama experience and her own fan base — was not the right actress to play Melinda Trask, a minor, one-note character who appeared in only 20 episodes of DOOL," Corday's lawyers wrote in the motion.
To bolster their case, DOOL brought in casting director Marnie Saitta, who has worked on the show for years, matching the right actors with characters. She felt that the role wasn’t right for Rowell because it didn’t need an actress of substance. Rowell delivered a high standard with her prior work on Y&R.
Saitta also mentioned that there was no retaliation for not allowing her to audition due to her advocacy work. The casting director found her call for diversity a positive one for the industry.
Corday is calling this a "legitimate, non-retaliatory reason" for taking Rowell off the audition list. Will this reason alone end the case once and for all?
Rowell has a huge fight ahead of her if the case goes to trial because she will have to prove speculation alone kept her out of the role, which is anything but concrete. She also has to deal with Sony Pictures trying to end their part in the lawsuit because they have nothing to do with Days of Our Lives.
It’s certainly complicated, but Rowell seems ready to see it through to the end.
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