Report: Young and the Restless Actor Quit Over Gay Kiss


Scandalous news from the soap world. Actor Chris Engen (left) reportedly walked off the show because of a script in which his character was to kiss one played by Yani Gellman, according to The Suds Report:

"A few days after The Nelson Ratings finally
bought Chris Engen’s uneven portrayal of Adam Newman, the newcomer
shocked the entire Y&R cast by quitting his role in the
middle of his contract two days ago! According to sources, Engen bolted
because, “he [allegedly] refused to kiss [his same-sex] co-star Yani
Gellman [Rafe]. Chris hasn’t been happy for a while. He doesn’t like
the dark direction his character is taking. He’s called in sick a lot
recently and has been taking a slew of meetings with Y&R’s [top brass] to discuss his future on the show. Chris is still under contract — and Y&R is seriously thinking of taking legal action.” Meanwhile, the No. 1 soap is currently scrambling to recast the pivotal role."


  1. jtramon says

    Unless when Engen originally signed his contract and it specifically stated a “gay” kiss – he shouldn’t be forced to do it IMHO. Recent same-sex kisses on TV aside, if he’s straight and it makes him uncomfortable – drop it. i don’t believe that the Y&R really should be forcing him into it. It’s not a big deal.

    Personally, Gellmans pretty hot though – I’d offer to do more than kiss him…….

    Y&R can still work their plot without the sensationalizing.

    And for all the guys out there who think this is somehow a “slap” against gays – get a life! Geez.

  2. Chris B says

    exactly sometimes actors are required to do things that in their real lives they might be uncomfortable with, it is their job. They should fire his ass for being unprofessional.

  3. says

    I wasn’t aware that relatively unknown actors could throw tantrums like this over a silly kiss. I could understand his consternation if he was being asked to get dildoed furiously by a bunch of Berlin skinheads, but a little kiss? Like JeffG said… it’s called acting. And no, he can’t call the shots on a character in a soap… you’d have to be Susan Fucking Lucci to get away with that kind of bullshit, and people with that much experience are usually more professional than that.

    No worries. The guy’s handsome, that’s to be sure… but he’s a dime a dozen. That part will be re-cast with someone just as hot and more talented. And it’ll be done within the hour.

    Buh bye, Miss Engen.

  4. Angela Channing says

    There is a possibility that Engen’s protest is not homophobic at all. His character Adam has been portrayed as straight but lately has taken a turn where he is gaslighting another character (doing things to make her think she lost her mind). His character has evolved into a sadistic, uncaring one. Suppose the writers have him seducing Rafe (the openly gay lawyer character) in order to cover thwart suspicion or to use Rafe in some way?

    So if that is the case, wouldn’t it be a possibility that the actor finds the storyline objectionable because once again gays are shown not being able to have healthy positive relationships or that psychopaths always turn out to be gay?

    I would like to know more facts but am keeping an open mind that the actor’s sudden departure might be in our defense. And if we find out that he really did not want to kiss a guy…well…I know I probably would not want to kiss a woman. (Don’t let my screen name fool you. I am a gay male. LOL) Thank you for listening.

  5. Leonard says

    Is it forcing him to do it when he’s hired and paid to follow the directions giving to him? He’s an actor. Sometimes he’ll be given roles that fall out of his comfort zone. His quitting just shows that he wasn’t a serious actor.

  6. Paul R says

    Calling a gay kiss “sensationalizing” is pretty sad, JTRamon. It’s a soap opera—a gay kiss is nothing next to the exaggerated crap they have on every single episode.

    Similarly, Angela Channing, an actor isn’t the scriptwriter or director. Unless an actor is very well established, he has no right to claim to have a say in plot development, whether on a soap opera or a feature film.

  7. JT says

    Let him quit. No skin off anyone’s back. He wasnt a fixture of the show. If he doesnt want to kiss a guy, then he is more than welcome to leave. Just dont think that no one will talk about it. If you are brave enough to make a statement of that kind, then you are brave enough to deal with the consequences. An actor that comes out as gay has to deal with his own set of consequences. Personally I dont watch the show, but as an actor, you may be laying your own demise by do that. Besides, he is hardly A,B,C or even D list.

  8. FASTLAD says

    Violation of the Bro Code? Weak.

    He should “opposite marry” Carrie Prejean and they can take a fundie road trip together. Hopefully off the nearest cliff.

  9. patrick nyc says

    I seem to remember that Will Smith pulled this on Six Degrees of Separation, where he did not want to kiss the other guy, and they cut the scene. Then again he was already a star at that point.

    Does Engen know that Heath and Jake both got nominated for Oscars doing much more than that? It’s not smart getting a rep in the trade for pulling this when you are just starting out.

  10. Darren says

    Perez is saying (not that I read is blog, or anything) that Chris Engen is being replaced by actor Michael Muhney from Veronica Mars. Good choice.

  11. johnny says

    What a pussy he’s being. A real man wouldn’t give a crap and just do it. Look at all the full-on kisses Viggo Mortensen gave to his costars off camera in LOTR as a joke and he didn’t think a thing about it. With all the money they’re making… jeez, it’s not like he’s being asked to perform fellatio.

  12. Mike says

    This smells like publicity stunt – cause you know what they say, any publicity is good publicity. He needs to fine another line of work, sheeezzzzz.

  13. Automotive Enthusiast says

    Typical homophobic str8 pussy boy.I wish I could say Im shocked and offended.But to say the least,this is the kind of crap I expect from most str8 guys.Hes just the typical str8 loser who probably uses the word “faggot” in his everyday vocab.And is a homophobe 3 weeks to Sunday.

  14. g_whiz says

    I don’t follow soaps at all, but my sister’s sister in law is obsessed with this show. The character in question is, from what little I’ve seen, in desparate need of some nuance, as he comes off as a crass, uninspired sociopath. I don’t know the story surrounding this so called sensationalized kiss, but if it helps make the character less of a villianous cliche, more power to em.

    Speaking on kissing. Is it wrong that I don’t at all see a big deal? Some cultures shake hands, others greet with a kiss. And a kiss is just a kiss, after all. Why does everyone have to be so old world about this sort of thing? If its an excuse for the guy to walk on his contract, sure, but two guys kissing is hardly news. Even on soaps these days. Though it may give stuffy old ladies in the midwest cause to choke on their bon bons…which may be worth it in any case.

  15. paul c says

    Good luck with that, (insert name of washed-up never-was here because I already forgot it).

    Soap actors rarely go on to anything better as it is, now factor in with that a reputation as “difficult to work with” and “homophobic” and his ass is grass.

    He’ll soon be hosting home tours of his apartment on YouTube a la Brenda Dickson. If he can afford a camera.

  16. markf says

    it’s the skill and job of an actor to make us believe in their assumed role, engage in the story and suspend disbelief. it suggests a weak professional acumen.

  17. Lexxvs says

    YOU CAN NOT WRITE EVERYTHING IN A CONTRACT people. What the heck do you think? That the writers have to give the actor all the details in advance so he/she can ponder if he/she as an actor is in the mood for the take? More over when the plot develops accordingly to the season. Obviously I’m talking about actors that are barely known, not of a big star that can push his own agenda and opinions before hand.
    If you as an actor can not perform, then what kind of an actor are you? Well, a bad one.
    Once you are working, you have to give the best of you to the character and make it credible. You –as an actor- are not supposed to “write” the plot. That some directors are open to make slight modifications on behave of improving a performance is in no way a green light to assume that it’s the actor right to do it once he is working.
    The best and short way to make him unworthy of any further job. There are dozens of thousands trying to get a role.

  18. Matty says

    I agree with jtramon. Usually when an actor is hired for a part they are asked if they object to doing certain things (same sex kiss, nudity etc). If they’re throwing this at him from left field and making threats if he doesn’t do it, he has every right to say no and walk off.

    No one should be made to do something they’re not comfortable doing, regardless of their profession.

    And please stop bringing up straight actors who have played gay parts, they knew what they were getting into, this situation seems different.

  19. samwise says


    If he had to have an interracial kiss and walked off the set, do you think everyone would be “oh… but they didn’t tell him that he would have to kiss an asian/african/hispanic lady…”

    NO. They’d call him out for being a bigoted asshole, and they should indeed be doing it right now.

  20. MarcusJC says

    I bet if they handed him a gun he’d have no problem pretending to kill another man. But love another man? How taboo!

    I hope he did walk away from the show. I don’t want Rafe (Yani Gellman’s character) to fall for the evil Victor Newman Jr.

  21. Joseph says

    Nelson Bronco’s SudsReport has more details (scroll down to the Young & Restless section):

    The gist is that Chris Engen had problems not only with the direction of his character but, according to other cast members, personal problems that were affecting his work; other cast members aren’t so kind, saying “he’ll never work in Hollywood again…you don’t walk out on a contract in the middle of story” and another says that “we all wish we had this storyline.” (As a viewer of Y&R, I’ll confess that, yes, this storyline right now is incredibly gripping.)

    As for the “kiss,” apparently it’s Adam (now played by Michael Muhney) seducing his gay attorney Rafe (Yani Gellman) to keep him quiet about his nefarious activities.

    Furthermore, Nelson will have an upcoming interview with headwriter Maria Arena Bell, which will include a discussion of MORE gay characters to be revealed in the show.

  22. PM says

    I think Samwise is right on the money in his comment.

    On the one hand Yani Gellman is seriously smouldering so surely it wouldn’t be THAT hard to pull of a few daytime-passion scenes, but on the other; not that many same-sex pairings on daytime tv, so I’d much rather have actors portraying them who can get into the role.
    Better Chris Egan quit now and pave the way for a more flexible actor, than downgrade the romance/fling/whatever to a few awkward “camera cuts away” pecks.

  23. Michael says

    Adam (the character he plays) is an evil, manipulative guy. IF they turn this character gay, it will be yet another evil homosexual portrayal on tv. Do we really need that? Also, I read that he has been unhappy w/ the direction his character has been taking for quite some time, and said that this was totally out of character for Adam (which I tend to agree with). There could be more to this story,so it is a little early for all the condemnation.

  24. Disgusted American says

    we as a gay man – if I was an actor – I’d have NO problem kissing a woman for a scene…..its an acting job…and a Legitimate request. They aren’t asking him to do anything more then any other actor….replace him~!

  25. Joseph says

    But, Michael, the fact that we already have a “good” gay character, Rafe, on the show and that the only other gay characters on soaps right now (Luke and Noah on ATWT, Olivia and Natalia on GL) are all good people, isn’t it about time to have a really scheming, conniving, gay villain? It’s not like Adam is a mincing, prima-donna, but a masculine guy who will do anything–including have sex with another man–to get what he wants. I think that’s refreshing and about time.

  26. db says

    Y&R is the last soap that I still watch. I don’t think it’s true. If Chris Engen is truly under contract then he can’t really quit without some money issues. He can call sick everyday and be fired but I don’t think he can quit. The funny thing to me is that he’s always seemed homophobic to me. Not sure why.

  27. db says

    samwise stated

    “If he had to have an interracial kiss and walked off the set, do you think everyone would be “oh… but they didn’t tell him that he would have to kiss an asian/african/hispanic lady…”

    NO. They’d call him out for being a bigoted asshole, and they should indeed be doing it right now.

    It is widely reported that the actress that plays Lily asked the producers of the show not to pair her with a Black actor even though in the show her parents are Black and bi-racial but they’ve never paired her with a Black character and she still has a job and a prominent role. Like this it’s all hear say but in the soap world who knows.

  28. samwise says


    I really can’t comment about this actress, because I don’t think you’ve provided enough info about what happened for me to come to a conclusion.

    All I know is that this guy’s actions reek of homophobia, and everyone needs to stop apologizing for him because of the unspoken reason that they think he’s hot.

  29. Jerry says

    Actually, the film of Six Degrees of Separation didn’t “cut” the kiss per se, but they did shoot around it with body doubles for Will Smith and Anthony Michael Hall.

    True enough, it is called acting, and if this kid doesn’t like it, he should probably be looking for another job. B-movies or sci-fi TV shows, or even movies on Lifetime are typical post-soap fare…

    And let’s not go comparing Y&R to anything Oscar-worthy, please. Apples and oranges.

  30. Susan says

    He has the right to refuse acting roles that go against his religion. Forcing this on him would be descrimination. Check the constitution. Gays are just angry and act out to get attention. If it were ‘okay to be gay” you would be able to have children. Not normal, not natural, not okay. Get over it. A REAL man stands up for his convictions!

  31. Joseph says

    Actually, Susan, the law and the Constitution is on Y&R’s side here: he signed a contract to play a character on a television program, where the producers and writers have the discretion to shape the character as they please. It is his job as an actor to portray said character.

    Additionally, if it was religious scruples that caused him to bolt the set because he didn’t want to kiss another man, then where were those religious scruples when his character was forging a diary to frame his father for murder, lying about being blind to get out of jail, engaging in pre-marital sex with the woman who prosecuted him, tormenting a pregnant woman and then framing the housekeeper for this vile activity? I seem to think those actions are pretty much immoral, but he went ahead and played the part. Therefore, he cannot use religious scruples as a reason for breaching his contract.

  32. samwise says

    susan, susan, susan… poor poor misguided, mentally deficient susan.

    You are obviously too dumb to debate with, so I’ll just give you this..

    You and your bigots days are numbered. Your world is ending. A new one of freedom and equality is fast approaching. And you are very scared.

    This makes me happy.

  33. Wheezy says

    Suzie Q,

    He’s an actor. You know, an *employee* of Y&R. His job is to remember lines and stage direction. That’s what he’s paid to do. That’s what he signed on for when he signed a contract with Y&R. I’m sure nowhere in his contract does it say he gets to dictate what the character says, does, or faux fucks. If he can’t do the job, he needs to leave it to somebody who can. That being said a REAL man does the job HE SIGNED UP FOR instead of running off like a crybaby when he doesn’t get his own way. Waaah, waaah, waaaah!

    And so I leave you with this:

  34. Strepsi says

    @MATTY — I know actors have certain contract stipulations, but are YOU seriously equating nudity with a gay KISS? That is a horribly self-loathing equation. How about equating nudity with nudity, and a gay kiss with a straight kiss (which is in 99% of ALL shows and episodes and movies and plays). That would be apples and apples.

  35. Rovex says

    In fairness, if i had to kiss a woman id be very uncomfortable, and im not sure the money they pay soap actors is enough to compensate me. Thats what pay is, compensation for your time, effort, and other losses you suffer as a result of having to work.

  36. Lunasa says

    No, no, I won’t play a killer. It’s not a christian (jewish, muslim, etc.) thing to do….and anyway people might think I’m a murderer.

  37. Troy says

    When it settles in that producers are not beating his door down offering him work, and his narrow butt is sucking lemons rather than drinking lemonade, he will kiss a pig to play a gay part. Whatsomatter Mr Hot Stuff, afraid you might like it?

  38. MarcusJC says

    I wouldn’t enjoy kissing a woman if I were an actor either, but think about how many gay actors have done just that. Think about how many have been forced to live in the closet over the years because being openly gay would have cost them work. To be able to throw a job away over a kiss just highlights how different gay and straight actors have had it for years. To do so is just a slap in the face.

    Maybe they should give the work to an openly gay actor who can’t afford to be so small minded.

  39. Eric says

    So may actors have endured more difficult things, he should just go. I think he was mis cast as to old. This character should be younger and more fun.

  40. Kim says

    HE IS AN ACTOR. He should be ACTING. Instead he’s a whiny self-absorbed brat who is very likely homosexual in real life because any male who is comfortable with his heterosexuality wouldn’t have a problem ACTING this scene.

  41. hakangreen says

    Personally, Gellmans pretty hot . I saw many hot guys on ‘ ‘. Also I saw his prof ile there. He’s sincere, sexy and honest there since he’s a certified millionaire there. Of course he’s one of the quality men there.

  42. mike says

    Strange. I don’t recall ever hearing about any gay man acting as a straight character storming off the set because his character was required to kiss a woman.

  43. Scott says

    Jesus you prissy fags are annoying. This shit almost makes me wish I were straight.

    So a meathead actor didn’t want to kiss another dude (If that was even what the problem was) who fucking cares? Lets keep perspective here people, its a nobody actor on a soap that ten people watch. It doesn’t fucking matter. Stop getting distracted from the problems that really do matter!

  44. Leon says

    Maybe he just wants to do the requisite soap opera bedroom scene of shirtless but covers neatly and snugly pulled up to him mid-chest without a wrinkle or thread out of place. Who lays in bed like that?

    Soap “opera”–calling it opera–is too high a compliment. Way too high.

  45. Raven says

    We have gay men and woman kissing the opposite sex all the time in movies, tv shows and what not. If he can’t handle it he shouldn’t be an actor. Would there be the same outrage if he refused to kiss a black actress?

  46. hank says

    I was an actor on soaps for many years, and while they didn’t let me have input on plots, they were very receptive to criticism on dialogue. I often re-wrote my lines, but I can’t even imagine pitching a fit about a plot line. Everyone lives in fear of their job in the soap world.

  47. jca says

    Someone sit this boy down to talk with Michael Cortez or Tony Sancho from On The Downlow, by Tadeo Garcia (2004). These two “straight” actors performed great throughout the film, and ‘the kiss’ was a huge moment well done. Chris needs to recognize he’s just another actor and there are plenty of others much more mature and capable around.

  48. Ruddigore says

    Chances are Engen’s exit from the show has absolutley nothing to do with kissing a man and everything to do with money. If he had been calling in sick a lot as reported, he probably wanted out of his contract so he can take a more lucrative gig.

    This all seems very similar to the controversy over Thomas Dekker leaving Heroes because he supposedly didn’t like the fact that his character was to be revealed as being gay. Dekker had played gay in the past and was leaving a reoccuring regular role on Heroes to take on a starring role in the Terminator series that paid a lot more. Blog comments went on endlessly about his homophobia, but the reality was that it came down to money and a better role.

    The most important thing to learn from this whole story is that Michael “Sheriff Lamb” Muhney is back on TV. We have missed him and his gratuitous shirtless workout scenes (Veronica Mars Season 2, Episode 10 “One Angry Veronica”). And he is a lot of fun when he plays evil.

  49. strepsi says

    @ROVEX – No, that is NOT what pay is. You get paid as compensation for doing a job well – many people love what they do and no “suffering” is involved. I feel sorry for your attitude, maybe you should change jobs?

    That aside, your notion that you could not be paid enough to kiss a woman is ridiculous and pathetic. In a world where butchers, roughnecks and soldiers risk life and limb, pretending to KISS someone is a suffering LOSS? Give me a fricking break. You and MATTY have bizarre notions, perhaps the two of you should date… maybe after 3 years of courtship you can work up to a (gasp!) kiss.

  50. Bisexual Jamaican says

    why don’t they get a gay actor if its a gay character? or get a bisexual or a straight who doesn’t mind.

    things like that are personal. why do they want to mess with the dudes sexuality? are they gonna sue him because he doesn’t want a gay role?

    unless he agreed to it and is now backing out of it, it is pretty effed up if you ask me.

    its not even a matter of homophobia… its personal sexuality they are compromising here… remember he has to “get into character”. wtf do you mean by its just acting, not a big deal?

  51. PERSPECTIVE says

    JTRAMON – I don’t think you are aware of how actors contracts work. Actors do not get pre-approval for what storylines they will participate in or not. Some stars get it feature films but almost no one would get it on a Soap – which couldn’t possibly guess where the storylines will take them.

    He’s an actor and he should be prepared to be a character and not himself. That is the point. If he doesn’t – well – he’s not really an actor than – but it does seem silly. He will most likely be a Kirk Cameron level star in the christian world – but I think his career for most intents and purposes is over. And I think it probably would have been anyway – statistically speaking – most soap actors don’t get beyond that those roles, that genre and disappear. I won’t miss him – but I don’t wish him ill

  52. James D says

    This is probably his only real shot at fame— certainly he wasn’t going to get there through talent! He’ll probably wind up on FoxNews as another poster child for intollerence!

  53. Sarah says

    well I am into Phyllis and Nick. It will be sad for Y&R to conduct in to letting Jack be Summer dad. How could any one encoruage to hurt a child to just switched daddy like that. We have enough of that in the real world. If Phyllis and Nick break up so be it. Don’t confused the child in their dramma. A mother of 5

  54. LMB says

    Chris is correct that his character, Adam, is taking a dark direction. The writers should consider writing him off the show with a death scene and call it a day! Then everyone would be much happier especially the audience. The Adam/Victor/Ashley episodes are pretty far fetched …. and are not much of an audience grabber. Just write him out and focus on a better story plot.


  55. Rose says

    Good for him. Most women who watch soaps are not going to enjoy seeing two men kiss each other. Blick. I will stop watching Y&R if they keep this crap up! It’s disgusting!

  56. Lee says


  57. Clay says

    Engen’s denied that this is why he quit, instead citing a broader problem with where his character was going and his lack of creative input into that process. Maybe that’s bull, but that’s what he says.

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