Ashland mashup victor victoria billy HW
Credit: Howard Wise/JPI (4)

“I really thought he would be [the next] Victor.”

Although some had seen the writing on the wall, most Young & Restless viewers were caught off guard when Richard Burgi casually dropped an Instagram story in which he revealed that he’d be leaving the soap. While there’s been no official word from the show about the actor’s departure — let alone whether the role of Ashland will be recast — most assume that the character’s soon-to-be-revealed secret will propel him off the canvas.

Meanwhile, many took to Twitter and Facebook to vent their anger and frustration. Perhaps desperately needing someone to blame, fans quickly found a few targets… including Ashland’s wife, Victoria. Michelle seemed exasperated, saying Ashland “became a lackey once married to Victoria.”

Others suspected that Ashland was simply the latest to be thrown under the Villy bus. “Oh, let me guess,” wrote Nick G. on Facebook. “They’re going to have Ashland leave so that Billy and Victoria can get together for the billionth time.”

Most, however, blamed the decision makers at the show. “Who can blame [Burgi for leaving]?” tweeted Lia. “He was promised a character that would rival the Newmans and the Abbotts, and all he got was a lukewarm loser who handed the Newmans his company on a platter.”

Gretel agreed with that assessment. “The writers dulled the Ashland Locke character,” she tweeted, adding her hope that the character might go “out in a dramatic blaze of glory!”

Others were upset at the notion of yet another couple hitting the skids given how many of Genoa City’s romantic pairings have struggled of late. “Ashland and Victoria could have meant a long-lasting couple when so many others on the show are and have been fractured,” sighed Wendy via Twitter, adding a laundry list of couples who’ve been torn asunder.

While a whole lotta commenters agree that Ashland never really lived up to the potential promised by his nickname — the Locke-Ness monster — they’d hoped that might still prove to be the case over time. “I really thought he would be [the next] Victor Newman,” wrote Karla Hamblin-Myers on Facebook.

One thing is certain: People are anything but ambivalent where this decision is concerned. The day after we shared news of Burgi’s departure, over a thousand people had commented on our Facebook page. Yes, some were glad to see the character exiting for one reason or another, but the vast majority echoed the simple yet emphatic sentiment tweeted by Susan Huth-Beckley: “Boo.”

But now it’s your turn. Do you think Burgi’s exit means the character of Ashland will also be leaving, or would you like the see the role recast? If Ashland is leaving, what do you think his exit storyline will be? Before weighing in via the comments section, join us in reliving Ashland and Victoria’s seemingly-doomed romance.