Sunday, July 20, 2008

Brenda's Dickson "True" Story of Her Firing and Blacklisting by William Bell

Former The Young and the Restless star Brenda Dickson blogged about her firing from the soap in the 1980s, and it is a fascinating read. Even though I realize that Jess Walton is an incredible actress and has done a fabulous job with the character of Jill, Dickson will always be Jill to me. I loved her so much in the role. Her Jill was such a diva, like Dickson herself.

Below is an excerpt from her blog entry:

"Many of you are probably wondering what is going on. I am being put in jail (illegally) and raped of all my assets. Well, this is a repeat scenario. It has been done to me once before. Whenever I showed desire to resume my career, there are people in my life, it is organized crime, who will rape me of all my assets. Many of my fans have expressed the concern about William Bell firing me so here is the blog that explains it all. I am writing a book and there is so, so much more to tell.

I feel I must speak out, as the fraud in my life is much too great. I have endured far too much to keep quiet about this. Many of you have asked am I alright after the William Bell firing and blacklisting. The answer is "No, I'm not alright."

The comment about William Bell, yes, well. It seems that is an ongoing battle. There are people who proceeded William Bell who are still in my life. The answer is NO. I AM NOT ALRIGHT. When I did E! True Hollywood, I was in a "gag clause," about the attorney who represented me for the lawsuit against William Bell, the illegal firing and black listing, ill treatment and defamation of character. It was an $11 million lawsuit. I have witnesses, sworn statements, etc. that prove the black listing and ill treatment and that I was ill when fired. The bad press that defamed my character. The judge in that case never met me or them. My attorney, who represented me, worked for Y&R, and William Bell. He failed to mention it to me. My attorney was secretly negotiating all the below the line contracts for the Y&R for years (Joseph Kapleon and Mike Shelly). When I did E! True Hollywood, the attorneys had me sign a "Gag Clause" and a contract stating that they did indeed have a conflict of interest (once I discovered this) and I could not talk about it. In the contract they admitted the conflict of interest and said their insurance company would pay me. They had dragged that case out for 4 years. Again, I never met the judge. Nor did my witnesses. They stated that their insurance company owed me $1,000,000. That is all the insurance they had. Their insurance company never paid up. I believe they used the case to negotiate for all the below the line people they represented and possibly got a great deal and then dropped my case. They dropped all evidence and witnesses in my case. The judge didn't even know I was blacklisted. They dragged that case out for a total of seven years, which included going after the insurance they had promised me. My current ex-husband, Attorney Jan Weinberg, was handling the malpractice case against the Y&R attorney who falsely represented me. He just let the attorneys go free. Well over million people tuned out when I was fired and show dropped 9 rating points. I am told it is a million dollars a rating point (to my knowledge) to the stockholders of C.B.S. I worked almost every day. You do the math, at the loss, most of them people never tuned back in.

For many years the ratings sank after I was fired, then about five years or so into it all of daytime fell. The show had about 11 million viewers when I did the show in the U.S. It sank to 3-4 million where it remains today. When I was off the show for three and a half years, my first marriage, the show fell to 6th place and stayed. No one knew better than William Bell this fact and the network. (Note Wikipedia is no real database for the Neilson ratings, other than false data someone sends them. Their Neilson Ratings reports are totally false on Wikkie. For the record they state I did game shows before Y&R, the true facts are I sang and danced and did skits with Bob Hope. I did three hit plays. One with Jimmy burrows as director, creator of "Friends" and "Cheers," one with Bob Crane and one with Mike Nadder and Tennessee Williams. I did Episodic Television, F.B.I. Story, "Men at Law" with William Shatner and Jan Michael Vincent, "Love American Style," "Falcon Crest," "There Is A Boy in My Remockie" with Barbara Eden and many others, a film called "Death Master" with Robert Quarry. In essence, I worked before Y&R, second mis-print of Wikipedia, Jerry Douglas and I never fought. Again, a false statement by Wikipedia. They are entertaining to read as some of what they print is true, most not true). When I came back the second time to Y&R, within months the show was back up to number one. William Bell felt he owned me and even though my contract was up, he decided to ruin my career, and blacklist me so that my face would never appear on another show because he knew that audience would follow me to another show. CBS Network knew this as well. So, he fired me against my contract that said I had to be given notice (I only had a few days left of work on my contract). The contract said they must use me if I was ready, willing and able to work. I was ready to work after seeing a doctor immediately. Bell refused to let me come back to finish my few days left on my contract. He and his friends did that to create the illusion that I walked off the set and to ruin my career. Pictures were released of me in a gown stating I walked off the set and quit my job. They ran all through the wire service. A total lie. When I went to get an agent (as mine had had a heart attack), they stated they had talked to William Bell and there was a problem. I couldn't get even the smallest agent to represent me. I was top in my field, yet this was happening. I met and married attorney Jan Weinberg. I moved to Honolulu, Hawaii, with lawsuits in tow to cover the damage, hoping to finally handle the matter and vindicate my career and the damage that had been done. I started a new life, stayed ten years. Only to discover the same people were in my life in fear I'd speak up and tell the truth. The same people did not want me back in Hollywood ever.

The attorneys (who supposedly represented me, really worked for William Bell and CBS employees) had dragged the $11 million dollar lawsuit out (and suggested I do no publicity then, a "Gag Clause" during E! True Hollywood, I waited 4 years to meet the judge, they knew I'd never see and another three to collect from their insurance company they knew I'd never get). I got nothing for the blacklisting and loss of my career. They where going to get involved in my divorce case to make sure I had no assets to fight back. Please read all of this sequence of events and as organized crime is in my life, which is what is happening in Honolulu now. It wasn't enough to strip me off my career, they wanted me with no assets to fight them, and never back in Hollywood with money or power. There was a connection into my lawyer ex-husband, Jan Weinberg. The current 2008, battle.

After going through the fight over my character image, William Bell wanted a character no one else wanted on the show. I couldn't fight City Hall. One producer would say to me right before I was ready to tape, "We have someone else to play our part, she has big ti - -, and is younger!" The whole thing was horrible. Another producer would take me to the Hamburger Hamlet and over drinks tell me they had someone else to play my part. I mean it as a constant negative flow of energy, all geared to upset and wear and tear you down. When I worked for Bell as a young girl, living at home with my poor mother as my character on the show, that was 10 years past when I came back in 1983. I drove a Rolls Royce, lived on Rockingham, traveled to Europe, wore clothes from Paris. I had developed a strong sense of fashion at an early age. I never related to that character. He kept surprising me. They hired a girl with a beautiful body, sexy, yet when I came to work, it was squash her hair down, bad lighting, weird ratted hair with shots way over the head to distort the face, and at one point they wanted to tape my breasts down. CBS runs a picture of me with the ratted hair and that fake lynx that looks like a cotton ball from an airell shot. At some point, I just began to bring in my own wardrobe. One producer would say, as they brought in an outfit I wore when my character was poor. this is what you used to wear. It was a scene written by Bell. It was, of course, totally inappropriate for the wife of a cosmetic king (I'd be shot in the dark with an up in the air shot. It was a scene from the old regimen, so they would make me look bad). The character had changed. The west coast producer Wes Kenny, had created an ensemble family. My character was to be a foil character for Jack Abbott. A villainess, an exact opposite of what Bell wanted. William Bell didn't want it that way. He no longer owned the show. He made no money off the ratings at that point. Wes Kenny was let go as the west coast producer. I believe it was over my part. William Bell used to call me at home. "Why aren't you crying?" I did my cry. He edited it out. Wes edited the show as well. It was exhausting. I do a crying scene over and over until I lost the tears. That would be the edit chosen. At same point, I did my own hair and make up, insisted upon a key light and no, I would not tape down my breast! If they didn't want them, they shouldn't have hired me. I was about to announce my second bathing suit poster to be released. That week it was to be released. William Bell made me a grandmother. Just couldn't win. I was in my 30's when Bell made me a grandmother. I wasn't ready for that part. So, in the end, the last few years, I wasn't the character William Bell created. I never was that character. It was much work to drum up this character he wanted. I'd grown up into a refined young woman. He had the character crying all the time. No one on the west coast wanted it, including the entire new cast of the Abbott Family. They wanted and needed what was being done, so the characters could interact with me. Finally in the end the character was more me, just me. I felt comfortable, happy (minus the villainess part, which I loved to play). The audience loved this character. But William Bell hated that character. When he fired me he said, "Suffice to say, we had a difference of opinion in character." Well, I was doing what the writers wanted and the audience loved. Someone else was coming up with ideas for me, and other writers. It was selling like hot cakes. So, the ratings were up. It worked and still he couldn't stand that. I was doing what was written in the script. the one and only reasons William Bell fired me is he hated the villain character I played, and he did not want my audience to follow me to another series!!!"

12 comments:

  1. OMG, Brenda Dickson is SO INCREDIBLY DELUSIONAL.

    She is a hot tranny mess!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Sorry, but after watching old clips of Y&R on You Tube with Brenda, I have to say she was an awful actress. She was extremely over dramatic with her facial expressions and dialog. If she did have an affair with William Bell, then she acted just like her character on Y&R and karma came back to her. A little advice Brenda, get rid of that gross red glossy lip gloss already, it looked bad on Y&R 30 yrs ago and it still looks bad today. Also, long brassy blonde hair on a 64 year old is not a good choice either, trust me.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm sorry u idiot, that was the 80"s CAMPY was in she was the daytime version of Joan Collins Alexis. I guarantee u and I know when looks better than Jess Walton,who is tired and fat and sagging.

      Delete
    2. U r a mean person Lisa A.She portrayed a good Jill.

      Delete
  3. Wow! How sad. This make two former Y&R actresses who apparently are crazy, delusional and hung up on conspiracy theories - Brenda Dickson and Victoria Rowell.

    ReplyDelete
  4. you people are the ones that are delusional.Brenda was the one and only JILL ABBOTT.they wanted her to act that way just like a forties movie star, Campy and Bitchy. she was the nighttime version of Alexis.hell she could give John Collins lessons on how to be a botch.you people obviously we're around between 83 - 87 people love Brenda is Jill Abbott we all tuned in every day to watch her.and yes we all would have followed her to another soap opera Bill Bell was a prick, not to mention a dirty old pervert.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Get over It! Talk about living in the past and dressing like it too! Brenda comes off like a Gold digger. It's been over thirty years since she was on the show and it looks like she has done nothing since then other than harboring bitterness. Very sad and there is nothing more pathetic than a 67 year old woman trying to look 30.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You don't get over someone like a boss taking your job and ruining your life when you know you are doing your job correctly. It happened in the movie industry and it happened in the television industry.

      Delete
  6. Nothing against Jess Walton who became Jill but for me Brenda is the Jill I loved in the role. She is not Emmy Award actress but she was the Jill I loved to watch. She stole Mr. Chancellor and the drama was in high gear from that point on.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I like both Jill's. Brenda's Jill was feisty. Jess's shows humor & played off Katherine well

      Delete
  7. Brenda Dickson was the best. Jess Walton ruined the character. I have watched the show from the first episode.

    ReplyDelete