In a jaw-dropping shocker, Soaps In Depth is reporting two-time Emmy winner Maura West has been let go from her contract role of Diane Jenkins.
You read that right. TWO-TIME EMMY WINNER Maura West has been fired. Reps from Y&R had no comment on the rumors.
Last August, shortly after As the World Turns wrapped up production, West’s hiring as the new Diane Jenkins was announced. The actress began taping September 1, 2010, making her on-air debut on October 8, 2010. Prior to West taking over the role, Susan Walters (Carol, The Vampire Diaries) played Diane from 2001-2004, and most recently made an appearance in February when Diane brought her son Kyle to see his father Jack (Peter Bergman). Alex Donnelley originated the role in 1982, playing the schemer off and on from 1982 to 1984, 1986 and from 1996-2001.
Editor’s POV: While official word from YR is still pending, Twitter is buzzing with the shocking news that less than a year after being hired, one of daytime’s most respected actresses has been ingloriously relieved of her contract.
As a long-time fan of Ms. West, I am obviously flabbergasted at this turn of events. This is an actress that can effortlessly act circles around pretty much everyone else in daytime (and primetime, for that matter). To unceremoniously fire her is a stinging slap in the face. Even more so given the fact that the blame lies solely at how terribly written her character was from her first moment in Genoa City.
From day one, this version of Diane Jenkins was given almost zero motivation or point of view. She seemed to have little to do, other than sleep around with almost every man under the age of 75. It was insulting not only to the talents of the formidable Ms. West, but also to her fans. One could see her fighting tooth and nail to give the directionless Diane Jenkins some raison d’être, and with only that sheer talent and will, she still managed to convey some sense of vulnerability and sympathy to what had been written as a lifeless, cold, non-entity.
Make no mistake: I blame TPTB for this colossal mistake. Maura West was given no chance to make this role work. None. A two-time Emmy winner was essentially given rags and expected to transform them into silk ball gowns. It was NEVER going to happen with this gig. If I didn’t know better, I’d almost say Maura West was set up to fail. That’s how obvious it was that this award-winning, multi-faceted, incredibly respected actress was never going to get any chance to shine on this particular soap opera.
So what I’ve learned is that Maura West is way too good for daytime TV. She needs to break the chains of a dying genre and find her place to show a much larger audience the powerhouse she truly is. All the best, Ms. West. You will laugh last.