Days of our Lives fans are still reeling over the news that longtime Salemite Stephen Nichols (Steve "Patch" Johnson) has been let go from the NBC soap opera. Rumors have been swirling for months about Nichols' status with the show, and the actor recently confirmed the news via Twitter. In doing so, he also shared his side of how his exit came about.
"I accepted their offer after trying unsuccessfully to negotiate something better than a 30% cut," he writes about his salary negotiations. He then adds that after accepting the pay cut, he was suddenly and unexpectedly let go. "With no warning -- written out. Truth."
Fans of the Ohio native were quick to react to Nichols' news and have started online petitions like this to keep their beloved Patch in Salem.
Whether or not viewer outcry will lead to Nichols returning to the show remains to be seen, but one thing is clear: Nichols himself is aware of the tremendous support and is extremely grateful for the fans who've been fighting on his behalf.
"I am touched and humbled by your kind words," he shares. "I will be forever indebted to you and all of our dedicated supporters who give so much love."
Tori, I am touched and humbled by your kind words. I will be forever indebted to you and all of our dedicated supporters who give so much love. I accepted their offer after trying unsuccessfully to negotiate something better than a 30% cut. With no warning -written out. Truth https://t.co/6SS6mmR0ZQ— Stephen Nichols (@officialnichols) August 15, 2018
He continues: "Whenever I see a scene or a montage you guys post, I am so touched and I remember just how much story we told for so many years and how rich it was. I'm so grateful for that.”
"For me, Days of our Lives is home and I want to be there... I love the people, I love Steven Earl Johnson and I love what Mary Beth [Evans, Kayla Brady] and I have been able to create together," Nichols wrote on Instagram last month. "I was excited to see what this new team would bring for us and for all of Salem. I've been in this business long enough to understand the rotation of stories, and I get that we can't always be at the forefront. And despite my disappointment in the lack of story this past year, I've always worked hard and we've always tried to find the moments in whatever we've been given. I think we did that."
Nichols originated the role of Steven Johnson back in 1985, and it's been one hell of an adventure for both him and viewers. Memorable moments include the character losing his eye during a knife fight with Bo (Peter Reckell); Patch trying to take the blame for his father's death when it was his sister, Adrienne, who killed him in self-defense; a decades-long roller-coaster romance with Kayla Brady (Mary Beth Evans); a battle with amnesia caused by DiMera family torture and brainwashing; family drama that included Steve trying to take the blame for Ava Vitali's murder when it was really his son, Joey, who committed the crime; and Patch going blind due to poisoning.
"It's a shame it has to end," Nichols says of his 33-year run. "Especially the way it ended."
Thanks, Shelby and Liz. Your videos are destroying me. Beautiful song and how apropos. "This years love ...had better last." It's a shame it has to end. Especially the way it ended. https://t.co/eFdm72hv2C- Stephen Nichols (@officialnichols) August 14, 2018
A show insider tells Soap Central that Steve Johnson is merely being given "a rest," in much the same way that Bryan Dattilo's Lucas was given a rest earlier in the year.
As fans may be aware, the NBC soap does not comment on contract negotiations.
What do you think about the way Nichols was let go from DAYS? Do you think there is more to the story than has been shared? We want to hear from you -- and there are many ways you can share your thoughts.