Young & Restless Fans Blast Show for ‘Trivializing Sexual Assault’
Viewers reacted with outrage to Chelsea and Billy’s conversation about his rape.
Young & Restless tackled a serious issue in the shared past of Chelsea and Billy as she called him to her apartment to own up to what she did to him years ago in Myanmar. Unfortunately, the daytime drama’s handling of the subject left a lot to be desired — and left fans flooding social media to express outrage on several points, one of which was portions of the dialogue.
Specifically, in one part of the conversation, Billy appeared to be attempting to shrug off Chelsea’s sexual assault of him by characterizing it as just another “wild” incident from his partying days:
— Lene (@l3neee91) December 13, 2022
While Billy could technically have been referring to his wild days as something he enjoyed and not the incident that occurred between them, he was still trying to brush it off, and worse, it sounded like the victim taking on blame, which sends a damaging and unacceptable message.
Could the show have been trying to depict a man not wanting to accept that he had been taken advantage of? Perhaps, but the bottom line is that a rape occurred and viewers expected it to be addressed as such. Many of the negative remarks about the scenes called out the higher-ups for not using the correct term for the assault or treating it with the same seriousness they have other social issues. Notably, the show neglected to do a PSA on the topic as it did for Chelsea’s recent suicide attempt.
Chelsea RAPED Billy.
Let’s call a spade a spade.
If we are going to talk about the storyline then let’s do it right or don’t do it at all #yr
— kate ♡ (@soapsmania) December 12, 2022
Thank you for trivializing sexual assault for survivors & victims in that one scene. Well done. @MyJasonThompson & @MClaireEgan are talented, but this is on TPTB. It starts there. @YR_CBS should be ashamed. A genre shaped by women did this.
— erika (@erika_kay10) December 13, 2022
Billy & Chelsea we’re almost married once. Call Johnny’s conception what it was…rape. It’s fine for him to forgive her, but trying to whitewash it is gross #YR
— Professional Port Charles Dragger (@TheBinMasterPt2) December 13, 2022
Also suspect were the show’s reasons for bringing this up again at all. Was it an attempt to clear the path for a Chelsea and Billy romantic pairing?
These writers are trying very hard to erase Chelsea’s past with Billy so they can pair them up. #YR
— Danielle (@DanielleBarbier) December 14, 2022
What was also peculiar is that the writers were addressing this now as though for the first time. It’s incredible to think that the characters were engaged and didn’t have this conversation before heading toward the altar together.
Weren’t Billy and Chelsea in a relationship a few years back? You’re telling me they didn’t once bring up the fact that she raped him? #yr
— mkats (@mkats027) December 13, 2022
Not all Young & Restless viewers were unhappy with how the writers dealt with the serious issue, however. There were fans who had a completely different takeaway.
I personally think Billy and Chelsea had a very open, honest, and heartfelt conversation including a genuine apology on Chelsea’s part, which Billy accepted. Moving on now.#YR
— Miss_Abby 💜🎄 (@MissAbb37309863) December 13, 2022
Please let us know your thoughts on Billy and Chelsea’s recent scenes in the comment section below. If you or anyone you know has been affected by sexual assault, help can be found through RAINN by calling 800.656.HOPE (4673).
Keeping it real: Look back and reflect on other soap stories dealing with real world social issues in the photo gallery below.