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Image: Howard Wise/JPI

There could hardly be a worse time to let Karla Mosley’s Maya go!

It’s not at all unusual for soaps in general — and The Bold and the Beautiful in particular — to place characters on the backburner. Sometimes, it’s temporary, as with Heather Tom’s Katie, who has had precious little to do for months but will inevitably resurface with new story. In other cases, a character is shuffled off the canvas, never to be mentioned again. (Uh, right, Xander?)

And then there’s the downright bizarre case of Maya Avant, the incredibly popular character played since 2013 by Karla Mosley. The show got a slew of positive press for the daring twist which revealed that Maya was transgender, and viewers were captivated by her romance with (and eventual marriage to) Rick Forrester. Then in 2018, the happily-wed pair headed to Forrester International’s offices in Paris where… well, something went wrong. What, we’re not sure, because when Maya returned the following year, she only said that the marriage was over and nobody — including family and friends — really bothered to ask why.

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Last week, Mosley — who had long been considered recurring, despite not actually appearing on the show — announced that her run as Maya was over. “This is a video that I’ve been reluctant to shoot for some time,” she admitted, “but it seems that it is finally time… that we have to say that [Maya] will not be back, at least for now.” Her decision to publicly address the situation came about when The Bold and the Beautiful released its new opening credits which, for the first time since the actress joined the cast, did not feature Maya.

Taking the high road, Mosley admitted to being “disappointed that [Maya] wasn’t honored with a goodbye that matched the importance of her presence on the show.” While that is a lovely and classy sentiment, it’s also a massive understatement, given the groundbreaking nature of the character. Were Maya’s story simply one of those often awkward attempts by a daytime drama to educate the audience, the vanishing act might make sense. Remember Beverly? No? Not surprising, as the young woman (played by Jane The Virgin‘s Gina Rodriguez) was used as a walking PSA about kids aging out of the foster-care system. She briefly bonded with Stephanie, served her plot-point driven purpose and quickly exited stage left. This was not, however, the case with Maya.

From the start, Maya was a fully fleshed-out character who only grew more complex over time. By the point at which it was revealed that Maya had been born Myron, the audience was fully invested in every aspect of her story. She was given all of the things a soap character needs to thrive, from a family (including parents with whom she had a fraught relationship) to a nemesis (Caroline) or two (Bill). All of which is to say that the decision to send the character off the canvas — and keep her there — was a head-scratcher.

Bold Julius Maya Eric

Dad Julius didn’t always approve of Maya’s choices, but eventually, he (sorta) came around.

But what’s even more inexplicable is the show not bringing the character back into the fold now, when there is so much story for her to play! Maya’s brother-in-law Zende recently returned without wife Nicole. This situation almost exactly mirrors Maya returning from Forrester International sans hubby Rick, leaving us to wonder if perhaps something untoward might have gone down between Rick and the young woman who served as his and Maya’s surrogate. (Hey, we still haven’t forgotten that charged moment that Maya and Zende shared a while back!) Ideally, the show would not only reverse course where Mosley is concerned, but bring Jacob Young’s Rick back into the picture, too.

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Meanwhile, Carter is very clearly about to have his heart broken by Zoe, who has been eyeing Zende in a way that in the real world would land her in a meeting with the HR department. Given that Carter expressed interest in Maya in the past, why not throw her back into the mix? Better still, Maya could not only compete against Zoe in the romance department but on the runway. Maya was, after all, Forrester’s lead model long before Zoe was given a chance to strut her stuff. And if you think a trans model wouldn’t be the toast of the town, you probably also think it makes sense that there’s never been a gay designer on staff at Forrester Creations.

Sisters Maya and Nicole are a gold mine of drama waiting to be explored.

But perhaps the biggest reason to question the soap’s decision not to put Maya front and center is the world in which we currently live. Never have issues of diversity and sexual orientation been more timely. Entertainment divisions around the country are taking a closer look at everything from their policies to the final products they’re releasing. Audiences are demanding to see themselves represented on the screen. With Maya, The Bold and the Beautiful has a character who is not only Black, trans and loved by the audience but around whom story doesn’t have to be built, because it already exists!

We get that as the only 30-minute soap on the airwaves, The Bold and the Beautiful has a smaller canvas than do some other shows, making it tougher to find time to tell stories for all of its characters. But perhaps instead of taking another ride on the Ridge/Brooke marry-go-round or watching Liam ping-pong between Hope and Steffy, it’s time to consider rectifying the mistake that is letting Mosley go and instead giving the audience another chance to fall for Maya all over again.

What do you think… is the show making a mistake in not telling Maya-centric storylines? If Mosley were to return, what story would you like to see for her alter ego? Hit the comments with your thoughts, then visit the gallery below as we consider some of the local gents who might make a good match for Rick’s ex-wife!