Sexual harassment has been in the headlines lately in light of the Harvey Weinstein scandal, but alas, the subject matter is not new.
In the early ’90s, The Young and the Restless took on the issue of men harassing women in the workforce with Michael Baldwin and Christine Romalotti.
The story began when Christine (Lauralee Bell) went to work at Whitman, Walker, and Wilson, a prestigious law firm that employed Michael. Chris’s respect for Michael grew after he successfully won a court case.
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Taking advantage of her professional admiration, Michael let Christine know that if she wanted a successful law career she’d have to give in to his sexual advances.
Christine, a newlywed, wanted no part of Michael and filed charges. Soon, she learned that Michael had other victims, including her neighbor Hilary Lancaster.
Michael wed Hilary, hoping it would weaken Chris’s case. Still, he couldn’t let go of his obsession with Chris; he invited her to go on a business trip to Los Angeles. There, Chris secretly recorded on audio tape Michael’s harassment of her.
He moved to another law firm, but Chris was relentless in her pursuit of justice. She went to a disciplinary board and Michael was censured.
Next, Michael went a little crazy. He burrowed a hole from Hilary’s vacant apartment into Chris’ residence.
Once inside, Michael duct-taped Nina, leaving her helpless in Chris’s bathroom. Just before Michael went through with his plan to rape Christine, Paul burst in and shot Michael, who went to jail.
In a rare move for Y&R (usually the show’s villains aren’t redeemed), Michael returned four years later and was paroled. His harassing ways were gone, but not the mind games — Michael donated a kidney to Danny, earning Chris’s gratitude and cooperation as he regained his license to practice law.
Michael’s redemption doesn’t negate the message that Y&R delivered in its original story: Chris fought back, refused to play victim, and her harasser did not get away with his actions.
The Young and the Restless (YR) airs weekdays on CBS. Check your local listings for airtimes.