“Skyle” WATCH
Soap Opera Digest|September 06, 2021
Y&R’s Hunter King and Michael Mealor Talked About Leaving Daytime In “Skyle” As Guests On Digest’s Podcast, Dishing With Digest.
Hunter King and  Michael Mealor

Soap Opera Digest: Michael, you announced you were leaving the show. Hunter, what is your status with YOUNG AND RESTLESS?

Hunter King: Well, I want to start off by saying that I loved playing Summer. She’s been a big part of me for the last, I mean, almost a decade ... There are a variety of things that happened, but I hope to always have Summer in my life in some capacity ... What the role will continue to look like, I’m not sure yet, but I know that I hold her very near and dear to my heart.

Digest: Have you finished filming for now?

King: At the moment I have, but you may see Summer and Kyle at some point soon.

Digest: Can you both talk about what went into your decision to go?

Michael Mealor: It’s funny because contract negotiations are a weird thing ... and I was kind of going through the process of it all ... I hadn’t been on the show as long as Hunter has, so I never experienced this before and I was kind of, you know, just going through the motions. My manager and I were working ourselves through it, and I think a couple of weeks into it ... we were about to film a scene and, Hunter, correct me if I’m wrong, but it was, “Hey, I’ve got to talk to you about some business stuff.” I didn’t realize she was going through negotiations at the same time, so it kind of turned out to where I spilled everything. Negotiations are a private thing, and I was like, “Hunter, this is what’s happening....” It’s difficult because you love the show and, you know, all that kind of stuff, and you’re so dedicated to it. I mean, it was my life. We worked 50 weeks a year, four days a week, so it becomes such a piece of your life and everyone there is family ... You just weigh all of the options, and there are so many factors that go into it that it makes it difficult, and at the end of the day, we were just trying to come to a middle ground ... and we ended up not seeing eye to eye on certain aspects of it all, and we decided that this chapter as we know it, for Kyle at least, seeing him every single day on TV, it’s coming to a close as we know it, but that doesn’t mean that we [won’t] see Kyle again in the future. Who knows what happens?

Digest: And Hunter?

King: I kind of echo everything that Michael said, yeah, we were going through contract negotiations at the same exact time. Michael did wind up telling me everything that was going on with his contract negotiations, I wanted to tell him everything that was going on with mine, but yeah, it’s such an odd process when you’re doing that but also feeling that you’re family, so, it’s definitely weird, especially with soap operas ... I’m just kind of taking it day by day and figuring things out, but who knows what will happen? Nine years is a long time being on one show and I loved every second of it.

Mealor: We’re obviously sitting on our couches right now, so life hasn’t taken us very far at the moment.

King: True, and I do want to say that, as Michael said, it’s difficult to be in the middle with the show, and that’s no ill will toward the show because they have to do what’s best for them and we have to do what’s best for us, but at the end of the day, I love everyone on that show. I cherish that time so much and all of the people I’ve met, even this sh*thread.

Mealor: Hold on, we need to clarify that she says that in the most loving way.

King: In the most loving way.

Digest: You’re both privy to the outpouring of fan support and the ginormous reaction online to the possibility that you may be leaving, so what has that meant to be on the receiving end of that?

King: It feels amazing to have their support and knowing how much Summer and Kyle meant to them. We put so much into Summer and Kyle and their relationship, and it feels nice that they can see that and they feel the love that we put into the characters. It feels good to know that you’re being recognized by the people who matter the most.

Mealor: It speaks volumes to what the writers have done, what the show has done with Summer and Kyle, and I loved every minute of it ... It’s so heartwarming and so affirming like maybe we did touch some people along the way.

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