Sometimes the drama behind the scenes on soaps come close to matching the drama on screen.
Take the case of 'Young and the Restless' and the actor who played Adam Wilson, the son of Victor Newman, who left the show under a cloud that included being labeled a homophobe.
Chris Engen had been playing Adam, who in the time he's reappeared has tried to take over his father's business, frame his father for murder, fallen in love with a district attorney named Heather, landed in jail, gaslighted his father's new love (Ashley) by making her think Victor's last-and-late wife was haunting her, caused the death of Ashley's in utero baby, paid off a doctor so Ashley and his father wouldn't know the baby has died, and shot Botox in his eyeballs to appear to be suffering from a degenerative eye disease.
Well, yesterday, another actor debuted in Engen's role. Why? The rumors were that a new story line was at fault. Apparently, the rumor went, Adam was going to come out as gay and kiss another male character. Engen, the rumors continued, bolted because he had religious objections. There was talk that he was so unhappy with the storyline that he held sickouts and then, on the day it was to be filmed, he left.
Nonsense, says Engen. The actor released a statement on his MySpace page. Apparently, he has been unhappy with the general direction of his character's story arc. (As it turns out Adam is so evil, he's only faking his affections for a gay character so the character won't find out his evil ways.)
Engen wrote: "I would [...] like to apologize to those of you who feel slighted by this choice, as I have been branded a 'homophobe' by several members of the press. This is, of course, absurd and many of my dearest friends are homosexuals who would be more than happy to speak on my behalf. My decision had nothing to do with religion, or anything I learned at Bishop Montgomery High School. [...] I do not ascribe to any one religious ideology but do value the truth that exists in them all. I think the unfortunate assumption that has been made is that Catholics are intolerant of homosexuals on the basis of their Catholicism. Intolerance of anything is a product of one’s underlying belief system as an experience of limitation. [...] We are what we are, but we are also NOT what we are not. Intolerance is a natural reaction that, I believe, we must understand in order to defeat."
He added that it's true he wasn't comfortable with 'many of the challenges they presented before me,' but that he dug in and did the job anyway. But, he says, '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.'
Engen said he felt he was aksed to tell a story that he wasn't inspired to tell. So he asked to be let out of his contract.