“Days of Our Lives” co-executive producer Albert Alarr is leaving the soap opera, according to a statement from Corday Productions boss Ken Corday on Friday night.
Coordinating producer Janet Drucker will be promoted to co-executive producer of the Peacock soap, replacing the exiting producer and director.
In a note sent to cast and crew Friday, Corday promised an “increased HR presence” at the company along with channels to report any concerns to leadership.
“Production will resume, as planned, on Monday, with new leadership in place,” Corday stated. “It is imperative that we have a safe and inclusive workplace environment.”
The show will go on another pre-planned filming hiatus on the week of Aug. 14.
In response to the decision to remove him from the role, Alarr said in a statement to TheWrap, “It is hard to overstate how heartbreaking I find this situation.”
He goes on to say that the investigation in question previously concluded with him keeping his job and feels the recent turn of events was the result of the studios “[caving] to a cynical pressure campaign to force me out of my job” with “no new facts.” Alarr calls the misconduct allegations and reports of them false or “taken out of context” and accuses two unnamed people of inciting the controversy in order to push him out.
Alarr’s departure arrives more than a week after the release of a bombshell report detailing an internal investigation into allegations of misconduct by the longtime producer. The series extended a pre-planned filming hiatus on July 28 for another week in the aftermath of the controversy.
The announcement of the extended pause came after TheWrap received a copy of a tentative “Days of Our Lives” production schedule that showed Alarr returning to direct on Friday, Aug. 4.
An insider close to production told TheWrap that NBCU brass requested the extended hiatus to give the show time to find a path forward. Earlier this week, at least 25 members of the show’s cast and crew signed a petition obtained by TheWrap that detailed the “traumatic and disheartening” work environment made public in the reports, and asking for Alarr to be replaced as co-executive producer with longtime director Sonia Blangiardo.
“As you make this critical decision with ‘Days of Our Lives’ moving forward, we humbly ask that you consider our collective voice in choosing the best leader for the future of our show,” read the letter.
Alarr was at the center of a nine-week misconduct investigation conducted by distributor Sony Pictures Television Entertainment, according to a report from Deadline.
The investigation began in March and included accusations of gender discrimination, targeting women in the show’s recent layoffs disproportionately.
“Many of us have either been physically or verbally violated by him, including witnessing those objectionable and offensive actions,” the letter signed by cast and crew read.
“Days of Our Lives” alum Lisa Rinna spoke out after the reports surfaced, revealing that the work environment she experienced when she returned as a guest star in 2018 was “disgusting.”
Peter Reckell, another beloved alum, spoke out about the allegations on Twitter: “We have learned disturbing news about the environment at [‘Days of Our Lives’]. It’s shocking to all who care deeply about the show, its legacy, and the audience who love it so much. With quick resolution, I hope to see a return to its past values of family and respect for all.”
“Days of Our Lives” was created by Ted and Betty Corday and is produced by the company they founded, Corday Productions, which is owned and operated by their son, executive producer Ken Corday.
Read Alarr’s full statement to TheWrap below.
“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. Dozens of individuals cooperated and every claim was thoroughly looked into. 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. 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 unrecognizable from the truth.
To be clear, this whole situation stems from the animus of just two individuals. Those 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 of Our Lives’ and wish the wildly talented cast and crew the very best for the future.”