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https://daytimeconfidential.com/2017/08/10/sally-sussman-speaks-out-on-young-and-restless-and-lesbian-love-story Some excerpts: Daytime Confidential: Mariah and Tessa kissed last week on The Young and the Restless. What was the genesis behind telling a story where two seemingly straight women fall in love? Sally Sussman: When I came into Y&R last September, I had one day's notice to start the job. I had been traveling in France with my feature documentary [Midnight Return: The Story of Billy Hayes and Turkey], and hadn't been watching the show for several years. So, I had nothing prepared and never have started a job like that before. But because of the change happening so fast, I had to jump in with both feet. While starting to write the daily shows, I came up with several stories that I pitched the network; one of which is the love story between Mariah and a new character named Tessa. This is a love story; it's not a gay story. It's about falling in love with a person, not a gender. It is about Mariah and Tessa's self-discovery and it catches them both off guard. People fall in love unexpectedly for all sorts of reasons. Some they understand; some they don't. DC: Per usual with LGBT stories on daytime, some fans are loudly voicing their disapproval on social media. Did you anticipate this? SS: Before the kiss actually aired and the audience was starting to sense where the story was going, I was told by CBS that they had been getting a lot of negative comments. Because I had been away from the daytime genre for 10 years, and was aware that many other soaps had done stories featuring LGBT characters — some as long as 20 years ago — I was honestly a little taken aback by the depth of the negativity. It made me quite sad. When I created Generations, my goal was to make the African-American families where you didn't see race. I had hoped with this story people wouldn't just see gender; they'd feel the honest love between the characters. DC: Y&R fans on social media are questioning the timing of your decision to retire and the launch of the story. Do you regret not being able to stay on and tell the story yourself? SS: The two events are not related; this storyline was approved last October. The material airing now was written in May because the show is three months ahead of air. I know a lot of fans got upset by the only interview I did while at Y&R, which was last October with Michael Logan. He had been faithfully watching the show throughout all the head writer changes and really wanted answers to the loose ends that were left by my predecessor. What he didn't know is that night I had to fly to Vancouver where my 61-year-old brother just died suddenly and unexpectedly. He was my last surviving family member and it devastated me. Thinking about future stories for Y&R was the furthest thing from my mind, so I just made up a bunch of stuff because I hadn't gotten the chance to write a long-term yet. At that point, I honestly didn't think I could make six months in the job. So I'm thrilled to have made it to one year. Also...Sally lets folks know that this was ALL HER IDEAS and she didn't have a bunch of network interference, she was in TOTAL control "But I take responsibility for every scene in every episode as it was all done by me. As head writer you can't farm this work out to your writers or anyone else; to do this job properly you need to be in the trenches on every episode and every scene. So if the audience liked what they saw, great. If they hated what they saw, then I feel badly and disappointed but I know it goes with the territory. I adored my writing team, most of whom I'd never worked with before. They were fantastic to work with, but your writers don't make up the shows. They look to you to guide them and tell them what is in each episode. The same goes for the network and Sony. They give notes of course and most of their notes are actually very helpful and thoughtful. I never had any issues with the network or their input; we had great long-term story meetings, lots of good back/forth; lots of laughter."