As the excitement builds toward The Young and the Restless' 50th anniversary, things behind the scenes might not be quite as celebratory.
Y&R head writer and executive producer Josh Griffith has fired the show's entire breakdown writing staff. The Wrap was first to report on the firings, a report that was later confirmed by those impacted by the show's actions.
Four of the five breakdown writers were women. One of the women is African American "who was hired with the intended purpose of expanding diversity behind the scenes per CBS' directive," according to The Wrap.
The reason for the firings is believed to be a cost-cutting measure that will "streamline" the writing process. Griffith will reportedly take on the additional responsibility of writing the breakdowns himself.
Breakdown writers are responsible for mapping out story narrative over multiple episodes. The position is something of a soap-specific gig. For most primetime programs, script writers handle breakdowns. With the volume of episodes being so much greater for daytime dramas -- 200+ for soaps compared to 13 to 23 primetime series -- having a team of breakdown writers tends to make soap storytelling more organized and manageable.
It is unclear if the decision to cut the writers was made by Griffith or if it was mandated by Sony Pictures Television, which produces Y&R.
"I was one of the writers who lost their jobs. I will always be proud and grateful for the 6 years I spent at #YR. During my tenure, I wore almost every hat: scriptwriter, co-headwriter the year we ran the tables at the Daytime Emmys (2018-19), script editor & outlines," Sara Bibel wrote after The Wrap story was published.
Citing one of its sources, the timing of the firings is seen as "suspect" because of upcoming negotiations with the WGA.
Though nobody, not CBS, Sony, or The Young and the Restless, has issued a statement, reaction on social media has been swift.
"My heart is broken for my colleagues and friends [at Y&R]," The Bold and the Beautiful writer Michelle Val Jean shared on Twitter.
Reaction from soap fans has been decidedly negative, with many questioning how one person can serve as head writer and executive producer and also add the work of five other people.
What do you think of Y&R's dismissal of its breakdown writers? Will streamlining the process help, or is this a recipe for storytelling disaster We want to hear from you -- and there are many ways you can share your thoughts.