Friday, September 10, 2010

Jeanne Cooper Comments on Claims of Y&R Racial Discrimination

In a new interview with Smashing Interviews Magazine, THE YOUNG AND THE RESTLESS star Jeanne Cooper comments on Victoria Rowell's claims of racial discrimination on the show.

Melissa Parker (Smashing Interviews Magazine): Victoria Rowell claims there is racial discrimination going on at The Young and the Restless. Are African American actors being treated differently?

Jeanne Cooper: Not that I know of. I think Victoria Rowell is one of the most talented young women in the business. Why she is taking this tactic … it certainly would never have taken place in my presence. I would never have allowed it. I can’t speak about it simply because I’m not black, but all people are equal in my presence.

I have a mouth on me and it wouldn’t … again, it wouldn’t be rice pudding and picket fences (laughs). That’s what I meant by that statement as you can tell by now what I mean. I’m not rice pudding and picket fences. Don’t put me in the category where I’m supposed to act a certain way according to your way of thinking.

I don’t know what Victoria is doing. Of course, she may have had experiences that she’s never discussed with me and that could be. I just think, at this point, that she should really name names if that is the way she feels. She should name names and let those people either defend themselves or whatever because then she would have an answer to the goal that she’s trying to achieve.

Without naming names for that sort of thing, most people just start saying, “Oh, there she goes again.” I so respect her talent. I don’t want people to think that of her as a person. Now, if it means press for her … I have no idea what her goal is but I think she should be brave enough to come out and take those people to task if that’s the way she feels.

Kristoff St. John is a beautiful actor. Even at times he feels that sometimes this kind of publicity sets them back two steps for every step forward. I mean, it doesn’t matter to me what color … I was raised with black kids.

It’s very difficult to see Victoria’s way of trying to move something forward because it’s better to come out and fight the fight rather than to just throw barbs at something. I just think she’d be farther ahead if she would name people because people have begun to think less of her opinion. It’s not befitting to her because she’s bigger and better than that. I’d really like to see her have a more direct way of presenting her hopes of what to do about the situation.
Read the full interview here.


  1. Victoria Rowel HAS named names. Michelle Stafford and Melody Thomas Scott. Michelle Stafford has denied the allegations, but to my knowledge, Melody Thomas Scott has not spoken publicly about it.

  2. Ditto what Ciberfutch said. Rowell has been very specific about racism on the show. She named people and their actions.

    Rowell also explained that in Y&R's 37 year history it has never had a black writer or director. That's horrible.

    Anyone watching the show can see how infrequent the Winters family appears and how segregated they are.

    Cooper needs to open her eyes and look around the set and behind the scenes.