Co-executive producer and director Albert Alarr has been let go by DAYS OF OUR LIVES and coordinating producer Janet Drucker is being promoted to co-executive producer in his place. The news was announced in a statement sent to cast and crew on Aug. 4 that followed an extensive investigation into complaints raised by some actors on the soap regarding Alarr’s behavior on set.
In a statement to TheWrap, Alarr responded in part: “It is hard to overstate how heartbreaking I find this situation. These allegations were already examined in a detailed and entirely independent investigation that lasted for two months. At the end of that process, the decision was made that I should continue in my role as co-executive producer. Now, with no new facts presented, the studios have reversed course and caved to a cynical pressure campaign to force me out of my job.
“It’s important to set the record straight,” he continued. “Every day, I worked with hundreds of people, the overwhelming majority of whom would disagree with recent mischaracterizations of me. I have been in this industry for decades, and not a single complaint has ever been made against me until now. Many of the claims recently referenced in the media are simply false. Others have been taken so out of context or are so twisted that they are simply unrecognizable from the truth.
“To be clear, this whole situation stems from the animus of just two individuals. These individuals, at a time of industry-wide cutbacks and economic uncertainty, have been relentlessly angling for greater pay and increased influence on the show, and, it appears, believed that their best strategy to get it was to play on vile stereotypes in order to bring down a Black man in a position of power. I will always be proud of being the only Black director/producer in daytime soap operas. And while I am devastated by the manner of my departure, I will always treasure my years at DAYS and wish the wildly talented cast and crew the very best for the future.”
The backstage drama at the soap first came to light on July 25 when Deadline published a report that DAYS’ distributor, Sony Pictures Television, had conducted an investigation into alleged misconduct by Alarr on the set. During the two-month investigation, Alarr reportedly admitted to at least some of the allegations, but upon the conclusion of the probe, continued to hold his job at the soap where he has been working since 2003.
On Aug. 2, Deadline published a follow-up story reporting that more than 25 cast members at DAYS had signed a petition calling for Alarr to be replaced at the soap. “As a result of said actions of the current [co-] executive producer Albert Alarr, mentioned in the report, many of us feel — and will continue to feel — very uncomfortable and distraught should he stay involved with the show,” the petition read. “Many of us have either been physically or verbally violated by him, including witnessing those objectionable and offensive actions.”
During all of this backstage turmoil, many actors took to social media to share their feelings on the matter, including Farah Fath (ex-Mimi). “I had the particular misfortune of having Alarr direct my first-ever ‘love’ scene when I was 19,” she recalled. “He was new so I was already nervous not having one of the other directors that I was used to. I was extremely modest and freaked out to be standing in my underwear in front of dozens of crew and did Albert do or say one little thing to make me feel remotely at ease? Absolutely not. He pushed and pushed and pushed and pushed me on a particular issue and was annoyed when I stood my ground.
“20 years later and I still feel sad about that day yet happy I set a boundary,” the actress continued. “But man, would it have been nice to have a woman direct that scene and make sure I felt protected instead of exposed. It’s been hard for me to read the news. I guess I’m shocked he learned nothing after the Me Too movement. Or by — hello? — the cast and crew’s appalled reactions to him on a daily basis? I’m sorry to my former co-workers who’ve been dealing with this relentlessly for decades now. Proud of those who are finding their voice now. His time is up. Nice work.”