Former Y&R EP/Head Writer Maria Bell: Michael Muhney 'Should Have Been Let Go Months Before'

Photo Credit: We Love Soaps
In a new interview with Highlight Hollywood, former THE YOUNG AND THE RESTLESS executive producer and head writer Maria Arena Bell has clarified a statement she made in Soap Opera Digest about Michael Muhney being fired from her former soap.

Check out her recent statement in Digest below as well as the clarification in Highlight Hollywood.

Soap Opera Digest:
Michael brought amazing dimension and complexity to the role of Adam Newman, and his and Sharon's was a great dark love story. Sadly, that story was seriously derailed in the last year, so I am not surprised that the show would look for a solution to their problematic storytelling decisions. It will be a tough role to recast.
A TMZ report was posted earlier today alleging sexual harassment of a co-star was the real reason for Muhney being fired. Bell had more to say with this new information being made public.

Highlight Hollywood:
Let me be clear. I am a fan of Michael Muhney the actor-not the person. Frankly he should have been let go months before because of his behind the scenes actions.

It's still a loss for the fans. Instead of acting quickly they tried to turn the fans against the character of Adam. Bad move. And they should not recast right away now. It's too damaged.

The only thing that matters in this story-now on TMZ is that a young girl is protected. She should have been all along. People should have been more decisive not less in this matter.

I think they should have taken immediate action. They didn't. Whatever happened, they need to protect the safety of the cast.

RELATED:
- Michael Muhney Leaving THE YOUNG AND THE RESTLESS
- TMZ Reports Michael Muhney Fired From THE YOUNG AND THE RESTLESS For 'Allegedly Groping Co-Stars Breasts'
- Mystified Maria Bell: I Never Dumbed Down The Storytelling

17 comments:

  1. It's hard to believe she knew anything about MM's situation since she made this new statement on the same day as the TMZ report.

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  2. Hmm she sounds like she didn't knw crap about whatever was going on at Y&R..& how they manage to be 'the #1 soap' is beyond me!?

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  3. Without dates, it's hard to gauge whether TPTB were "decisive" or not. What does seem rather clear, though, is that one can pretty much infer that the producers took the path of least potential litigation and chose to release the actor at a standard 26-week cycle date in his current contract when such things can be done with no problem. And that doesn't just mean no problem for them financially, but it could also mean no problem for any innocent party, as there would be less of a chance for things to turn litigious doing it that way.

    And why is MAB talking about a recast "right away"? If you listen to what's been reported so far, it sounds like the character is definitely going to be given a rest for something like three to six months. That seems adequate, and they can always extend that time based on general perception.

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  4. Both of these people have been given the raw deal by Jill the executive producer and who ever else made the decision. I have been watching YR for 30 years, and never have I witnessed any of the YR actor's bad mouth another cast mate publicly. So for Melody and Doug to go on record to say the reason why Muhney was fired was not the full story. What is the intent? (to protect Jill --she seems insecure and needs people to go to bat for her). To bury a man who has been alleged and not confirmed groping allegations? And outing KIng as the one who was groped to the media? How is this protection? How is this fair or professional management --for Muhney or King??Then leaking the story to TMZ who has a personal relationship with an executive at YR. And then adding to the story that this has happened before? Read somewhere that Eric and Doug felt harassed by Muhney? This is unprofessional way of managing a situation that could have been managed fairly for both parties. Good one Jill. You tarnished a new comers reputation and family man who has to support his family for life. No one is going to hire these two --regardless of what has been alleged--unfortunately prospective employers are going to label king and Muhney as trouble. You through both of these actor's to the wolves for reasons that seem petty and could have been managed--similar to Eric and Peter's differences many many years ago--and they are still there. You need effective coaching and management skills.

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  5. Here goes another CBS soap down the tube ! I have watched from the beginning and am sickened by the story lines lately, not to mention getting rid of some of the best actors !!!! I am about done watching this show, Too bad, they have a good thing going then somebody new comes along and screws up the whole show !!!!! Obviously lacking in what we want to see, I guess they wont have to worry for long, after everyone quits watching!

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  6. MAB and what she thinks at this point is irrelevant, IMO. She's been caught flat footed, talking out of both sides of her mouth and now she needs to issue an addendum apparently.
    What's happened Maria? Has the art world not given this woman enough things to do?
    From a past Jeanne Cooper interview, one could infer that MAB was never a hands on show runner, so it doesn't surprise me if MAB didn't know much about any HR issues that may have been gradually emerging-- she just strikes me as fairly clueless.

    I guess she figures if she talks enough, she might eventually provide something genuinely insightful.
    Keep on truckin' Maria. One of these days, you're bound to get something right.

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    1. I tend to agree with your take on MAB. I think it's hilarious how she won't go away and continually uses her pal Tommy Lightfoot Garrett's column as a platform. He frames everything as if MAB's reign represented some kind period of glory years for the show. And no, the show's no better under JFP, but as others have pointed out, MAB isn't one to be throwing stones. And even on the subject of harassment, it didn't sound like much was done back in 2011 when Michael Fairman was being harassed and bullied over his religious choices by some Scientologist. That would have been on MAB's watch. At least, Garrett got it right this time by referring to her as a "socialite." .. lol!

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  7. Her word against his. Were there any witnesses? So who do you believe. If there was any truth to the story, he should have been reprimanded not fired. Not fair to him or the show or to his fans. It took a long time for her to report it! The Young & the Restless should have been more up front with the problem.

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    1. It seems like she reported it months ago. If CBS and JFP are guilty of anything it's not firing him immediately. Y&R can't be upfront about a Sony HR issue. If they revealed these details, Muhney could sue them.

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    2. I read Hunter (Summer) threatened to sue CBS Daytime if he wasn't fired but who knows what the truth is. If she is a little Diva with a sense of entitlement and did hit on Michael and he rejected her, it's not out of the ordinary for these young Hollywood types to make things up due to rejection, but if HE is a narcissistic prima donna who is handsy and flirty or who thinks he's entitled then maybe he did touch her boobs. He certainly has more to lose than Hunter (wife and kids). I have no idea what's true and what's not or who to believe. They are both good actors. We the fans will probably never know exactly what happened.

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    3. What he allegedly did was vile. How disgusting to blame the victim. You may think you are being a good fan but being a decent human being is more important than any fandom.

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  8. Whatever happened to the counselling aspect of coping with employee situations? And just why does JFP need defenders? As executive producer it is called, make a statement and stand behind what you say, don't send in the brown nosers to keep defending you, if you are so almighty innocent in what has been done!!! This all just reeks of nepotism from all round on Jill's part. I hate her and all she has brought to Y&R this past year and a half.

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  9. @David Miller - Getting rid of an actor on contract isn't quite the same thing as firing a regular employee. But since specific facts and/or dates haven't been revealed, it's hard to gauge whether the choices made in his dismissal were "immediate" enough. As I wrote above, if his 26-week contract cycle was coming up (as I suspect), then exercising that clause may have been the quickest and "cleanest" way to remove him. After all, it's already been pre-agreed to in the existing contract. - jmho

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  10. NEVER EVER WILL Y AND R BE NUMBER 1........YA JUST AS WELL FIRE EVERYONE.. READ THE FAN MAIL.....YOU GUYS SUCK DONKEY !!!!! TO MANY OF TH GOOD ACTORS ARE GONE !!!!!! 30 YEARS OF WATCHING THE UPS AND DOWNS......YOU MAKE ME SO SICK.....ALL SOPES ....JUST AS WELL SHUT DOWN...Y & R HAS JUST RUEN DAYTIME SOPE... THANKS FOR NOTHING....JUST ANOTHER FAN YOU LOST!!!!!!!!!!¡!!! : (

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  11. Y&R im still watching and enjoying the younger set as well as the originals to this soap. Keep up the good work. Your diehards fans are still out here. And will continue to be. Thanks to you all.

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  12. I am a diehard fan; but all of this political manoeuvring by YR execs and actors coming out and saying things re this situation, leaking this info the media--yes, it doesn't take genius to see that YR was getting a lot of heat--and tried to kill the story through TMZ etc really under handed. And then through the young actress to the wolves. All of the story lines on the show are blah and don't have the same spirit that YR once had. It seems to be gone--people are jumping ship because YR ship has been sinking. I need a new soap opera.

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  13. I think Hunter king has a thing for the handsome hunk who got fired...come on hunter stay within your own age..u suck on the show

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