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The Young & the Restless actor claims he didn't quit over gay kiss

by Allison Waldman, posted May 29th 2009 3:09PM
Chris EngenLate last week, actor Chris Engen reportedly bolted from The Young & the Restless, walking out on a front-burner story line on the number one rated daytime drama because he objected to his character sharing a kiss with another man. This week, Y&R's former Adam Wilson issued a statement online to tell his side of the story.

Engen wasn't unhappy with the gay twist, declared that he is not homophobic and said he didn't quit the show over religious objections. According to the first-time soap actor, "I felt generally unhappy about my contribution to the show, and had greater and greater difficulty making any sense of the challenges they were asking me to face."

Exactly what were the challenges that Engen faced, you might ask? Well, as Adam, Chris was front and center in the Victor/Ashley pregnancy story. After getting released early from prison and placed under house arrest -- with an ankle monitor just like Bernie Madoff had -- Adam has been plotting to undermine Victor and Ashley's romance and, perhaps, cause her to lose the baby she's carrying. He's also been faking a disease that brings on blindness, retinitis pigmentosa, which his late mother had been inflicted, by injecting Botox into his eyeballs.

Now, as a soap watcher, I have to tell you that actors would kill for that kind of work. Playing a villain is generally considered a plum role and a chance to really shine. Apparently, in the weeks ahead, as part of his evil-doing, Adam was going to feign a romantic interest with his parole officer, Rafe, in order to get him to work in Adam's favor. That meant kissing Rafe.

Still, Engen said in his statement that before the gay kiss came up, he wasn't happy with the direction of the character. He said he was allowed only a single meeting with head writer Maria Bell. "In the end, I didn't feel that decisions were being made in my best interests, personally or professionally. I asked to be removed from my duties," Engen asserted.

It would seem that the last part of that statement is true. Y&R recast the role immediately with Michael Muhney, of Veronica Mars fame, will take over the role of Adam Wilson. His first air date is June 25.

Engen's decision may not hurt his future prospects in film and TV roles, but don't expect another soap to hire him any time soon. Walking out in the middle of a hot story is generally considered career suicide in daytime. You don't do that to your show or to the fans who have invested in your story line. As for the gay angle, it sounds like a great development. Adam is evil incarnate. Why wouldn't he use Rafe to get what he wanted, even if that means faking an attraction to the guy? You must remember this, a kiss is just a kiss...

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IN RESPONCE TO "DON'T CARE... How do you know they are stupid story lines if you don't listen to the "white noise" as you "puter around? This show must peak your interest at least even enough to make a comment about it or have an opinion.

August 08 2009 at 7:49 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I started watching this soap literally from day one because my mother watched it and still does. It was the summer I turned 12 and I am a die hard fan. I see every episode either on tv or on the web. My husband is also a huge fan as well as my daughter who is now 26. I am so glad to see that many of their story lines are geared towards real life situations in that they teach real facts about how to get help. (ex. diabetes, cancer, rape, domestic abuse, mental illness and homeless shelters to mention a few) Thank you Young and Restless writers. I wonder how many people have been helped or saved by watching The Young And The Restless.

August 08 2009 at 7:29 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

send clippings to my email.

July 10 2009 at 2:32 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

OK < So I am addicted to this show. But, like all addictions, there are some bad side effects. Such as poor story lines, boring useless scenes that seen to fill some otherwise valuable airtime, and scenes that just make you want to ask yourself "Did I just see that or is it my addiction?"... The role of Adam was played so well by Chris Engen that I for one will surely miss seeing him!

June 30 2009 at 2:37 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I totally agree with Smith but I disagree that Adam should have stayed especially after all he has done. Now he wants to have MORALS. I have always believed that Summer was his. Love the show and Sharon and Nick. We need to see more of Neil and his family.

June 09 2009 at 7:34 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Rheutelia's comment

Just started watching....you mean these aren't true stories?

June 26 2009 at 10:04 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Lady Olivier

These soaps are lame and dumb. I leave my tv on as white noise for my dogs while I putter about the house,or am gone. The few times I've walked in and saw a show like Y&R I thought : Bad acting !!( Not even Hammy Just BAD!) Stupid storylines!!! How dumb do they think people are??? I couldn't even tell you who this guy was and I didn't even notice he was gone so what does that tell you about these types of shows? Makes me long for the days when Sally Jessie Rapheal and Donohue were on daytime tv, at least there were better acting and storylines !
The better soaps are on BBC BTW!

May 30 2009 at 10:27 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
David Gunter

I have watched Y&R off and on for years.It's the only soap I've ever paid any attention to.I don't blame Chris for leaving as his storyline had become ridiculous.Some time ago there was a major shake up of writing and production at the show and from then on it has drifted and has become too stupid for me.Apparently the writers believe viewers have no knowledge of matters relating to legal,medical or business issues.They have decided to write these issues in to suit the storyline not reality.When a will written on a legal pad in prison unwitnessed and by a character with known mental issues was accepted as more viable than a will written by regular legal means I knew it was heading downhill.Recently storylines of two characters exhibiting serious mental issues that cured themselves and were not pursued with treatment also show where the writing has gone.Yes it's a soap and fiction but people do watch and far more than bored housewives.These issues are handled poorly and could suggest to someone they are valid when they are not.

May 29 2009 at 3:26 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
3 replies to David Gunter's comment

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