Exclusive: The Young and the Restless Launches Teen Cyberbully Plot
Don't mess with Summer Newman. On Monday, Nov. 5, CBS' The Young and the Restless kicks off a cyberbully story featuring the gorgeous but troubled teen played by Hunter King. Summer will create a fake identity on FacePlace — that's Y&R's version of Facebook — in order to friend Jamie (Daniel Polo), the boy being mentored by Genoa City cop Ronan Malloy (Jeff Branson).
"Summer is in such a screwed-up state over the divorce of her parents that she misguidedly decides to hurt Ronan by hurting this kid he cares so much about," says the soap's Emmy-winning head writer Josh Griffith. "She uses her phony online persona called 'Brittni' to form a relationship with Jamie and draw information out of him — deeply personal and hurtful stuff about his past troubles with the law — and then she blasts it out to everyone on FacePlace. She'll also be using texting and instant messaging to disparage him further."
But here's the kicker. While that's playing out, Summer is getting to know Jamie face-to-face and he really starts to grow on her. "She realizes he's a kid who's had a really terrible life and that she's doing things to him he doesn't deserve," says Griffith. "But, at that point, it's way too late. The tiger is out of the cage."
Adding fuel to the fire is young Fen Baldwin (Max Ehrich), who is so infatuated with Summer that he becomes her partner in crime — in fact, he takes things a few dangerous steps further once he sees Summer's growing fondness for Jamie.
Expect a long roll-out for the plot. "The bullying will continue for a couple of months before it reaches a powerful climax," says Griffith. "It will then spin into a whole other direction involving Fen and his parents Michael [Christian LeBlanc], who is the district attorney, and Lauren [Tracey Bregman]. This is more than just a cautionary tale about bullying and the dangerous consequences it has for our young characters. This will have huge ramifications for their families."
CBS plans to air a series of anti-bullying PSAs to accompany the story.
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