Since 1973, The Young and the Restless has been a wonderfully intriguing soap opera to keep up with. If the show wasn’t so beloved by millions of people, it wouldn’t have made it to its 49th season.
The Young and the Restless focuses on characters residing in a socially and ethnically diverse town, doing their best to figure out careers, friendships, romances, raising children, and so much more. Viewers are pretty surprised about the news that Richard Burgi will no longer be with the show. Here’s what fans should know about why.
Why did Richard Burgi leave 'The Young and the Restless'?
The cast and crew of any movie or TV show filmed today are forced to follow long lists of rules and protocols in order to remain a safe environment throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. According to Variety, Richard has been fired from The Young and the Restless after a coronavirus protocol breach.
During an Instagram live stream on Jan. 11, 2021, Richard revealed that he, “naïvely and inadvertently violated the show's COVID-19 policy." He also said, “I felt terrible about it. I still do. It bothers me mightily, but it is what it is. I respect whatever the show's decision is. They’re doing the best they can, as we all are."
So what protocol did Richard actually break? According to the actor, he tested positive for COVID-19 around Christmas time, but only refrained from returning to set for five days. The CDC announced at the end of December 2021 that the recommended quarantine period had been reduced to five days, which is why Richard thought he was in the clear.
However, the guideline for actors working on The Young and the Restless states that they must wait 10 days before returning to set. Since Richard tried to get back to work after five days, he was violating the show's protocols.
What’s happening to the character of Ashland Locke on 'The Young and the Restless'?
Now that Richard has been fired from the show, a lot of fans are curious to know what will happen to the character he was playing. Ashland Locke is a fictional character who arrived in Genoa City during the Mar. 11, 2021 episode. He’s a high-powered and hard-working businessman from New York City, married to a wife named Tara. Together, they have a son named Harrison. Ashland's arrival in Genoa City is mainly focused on his plans to do business with some of the town's wealthiest individuals.
He's in the process of selling off his media company to whoever will pay him the highest bid. There’s a lot going on with the character of Ashland, and it would obviously be too soon for him to simply disappear out of the show completely. Instead of the character being written out (or even killed off), the role is being re-cast, with another actor named Robert Newman taking up the mantle.
The next new episode of The Young and the Restless premieres on Feb. 11, 2022 at 11 a.m. PST on CBS.