"Creative differences" prompt Tom to leave Y&R

Posted Thursday, September 25, 2003 11:35:29 PM
Updated Sunday, October 05, 2003 7:49:39 PM

Conflicting reports have emerged regarding Emmy winner Heather Tom's (Victoria Newman) future with The Young and the Restless.

According to a statement from her spokesperson, Tom will leave the show by year's end because of "creative differences" with the show's executive producer David Shaughnessy. Insiders also offer that the show's request that Tom take a sizeable pay cut also played into her decision to leave.

"The decision, mutually agreed upon by both the show and Ms. Tom, was for creative differences," the statement said. "Ms. Tom felt at this time it was best to move onto other challenges, both creatively and personally.

However, in a statement from Shaughnessy, the show's official position is that Tom isn't going anywhere.

"As far as Jack [Smith, Co-Executive Producer and Co-Head Writer] and I know, we are still in contract negotiations with Heather. There have never been any creative differences. In fact, we think Heather is an extremely talented actress and a tremendous asset to the show. We both have great respect for her work."

However, the statement from Shaughnessy may be an attempt to do damage control. A statement attributed to Tom states that the actress has already made up her mind -- and she's leaving The Young and the Restless.

"I want to thank all of my fans in daytime for making these 13 years such a joy for me," says Tom in an official statement. "A big thank you must go to [Y&R creator] Bill Bell for creating such a rich, complex character that I loved sinking my teeth into."

Tom previously left The Young and the Restless in April 1997, but she returned to the show several months later. Tom states that she will pursue other opportunities in television, though she did not explicitly state that she would seek out another role in daytime. Tom has, however, been spotted in meetings with execs from an East Coast soap.

Tom was to have taped her final Y&R episode on October 7th, however, Tom reportedly agreed to stick around for a few extra days to allow the writers to phase out her character. A show spokesperson states that Victoria will be recast sometime after the holidays, possibly in January 2004.

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