One day after filing a lawsuit against Days of our Lives production company Corday Productions, the show's executive producer Ken Corday, and former co-executive producer Albert Alarr, Arianne Zucker held a press conference to issues a statement regarding the litigation.
Reading from a prepared statement, Zucker referred to herself as a "committed and loyal employee of Days of our Lives" for more than 25 years. Zucker stated that the working environment that she and others used to enjoy changed when "female coworkers [were] being sexually harassed, violated and degraded as women" by Alarr.
Zucker went on to say that she tried to address the issues with Corday and Corday Productions but had her concerns "swept under the rug." Despite her concerns being ignored, Zucker asserted that she wanted and needed to keep her job on DAYS and attempted to negotiate a new contract with the show. Zucker claimed that Corday refused to negotiate with her team, and she was subsequently let go.
You can read a transcript of Zucker's entire press conference below. Video from a portion of the statement has also been made available.
"My name is Ari Zucker, and I have been a committed and loyal employee of Days of our Lives playing the character of Nicole Walker since February 1998. And I feel very fortunate to be part of a legacy that continues to film since 1965. It's a show I've been very proud of working on. I feel very grateful for being a part of an incredibly talented cast and a coworker to an incredibly talented crew, a cast and crew that I grew very close to. Over the years, I became not just an important character on the show, but a mentor, a confidante, a host, a friend, and an advocate for those who felt they didn't have a voice.
"Now, I just wanna share a little bit about myself so you can understand who I am as a person. I was born an animal lover, which led me to riding horses since the early age of seven. I became an animal advocate as a teenager, and in my early twenties, my volunteering expanded to other organizations such as Make a Wish and Habitat for Humanity. And ultimately, I ended up co-founding an organization called ArrowHeart Adventure Camps with my brother. And our mission is to help teens find their true nature in nature.
"And my love for giving back didn't stop there. My fiancé and I started a life-coaching company called Aloha Life Coaching that we started during the pandemic because we wanted to help people find their unique potential by creating the life they imagine.
"So, as you can imagine, I naturally brought my true nature to work every day. And my goal was always to create joy when I walked on sets. And on top of being emotionally prepared as an actress and contributing to the very fast-paced schedule, we were required to be committed to at the studio, I became a sounding board for those closest to me. Which leads me to my next point.
"For quite some time, I have seen my female coworkers being sexually harassed, violated, and degraded as women by our executive producer, Albert Alarr. I myself have also been degraded, violated, and sexually harassed by Mr. Alarr. In March of 2023, several female employees were fired. There was a complete dissolution of our female PR department. Females having contracts not renewed. Females not returning because of the way they were being treated on the show. Females moved to recurring status and feeling that if they do say something, it would be swept under the rug, and nothing would be done -- or worse, they would be fired.
"This all occurred under the watch of the show's owner, Ken Corday, who is personal friends with Albert Alarr. When many of these individuals shared with me what happened between them and Alarr, and after I had enough of being harassed myself, I found the courage to say something to the owner of the show, Ken Corday.
"My whole purpose to talking to Ken was to create a safe, balanced, and fair work environment. Ken would not speak to me directly when I first brought this to Corday Productions' attention. When I did bring this information to a male employee at Corday offices, he was quick to move off the conversation, brushing it under the rug and attempting to dissuade me from lodging my complaints.
"But I persisted that this was no small matter, even though I knew that my complaints would lead to bad ramifications for me and that I could easily be blackballed in my industry, which we have sadly seen time and time again. v "The next day, I was then directed to speak with someone from Sony HR, because Corday does not have an HR department. Just to be clear, there is no HR department on our set, so there was no one to support us. Once the investigation by Sony HR started against our executive producer, Mr. Alarr was still allowed to remain on set for several weeks, directing and producing our show.
"I and other women who complained and were harassed, had to still work day in and day out with Alarr. You can only imagine how this felt. He was then removed from the floor weeks later, but he was still allowed to direct and produce from the booth just off the stages.
"He was still involved in watching love scenes and making me and other actors and other female crew members very uncomfortable. And I just wanna add one thing -- that we did not have an intimacy [coordinator] up until this point on the show.
"As weeks went on, my agents received an email with a reduction in pay. A few days after that, my agents received a second request for a reduction in pay. While waiting for the results of the Sony investigation, my character was being written off the show. During this whole time, Albert Alarr was still our active executive producer.
"It wasn't until several employees spoke anonymously to Deadline that the show had to take a pause in production for a week. Again, nothing was done by Ken Corday, and Albert Alarr continued on as our executive producer, much to our cast and crew's confusion.
"It wasn't until a petition was signed and a second Deadline article came out that action was finally taken and Mr. Alarr was released as executive producer. My character was eventually brought back in August of 2023, thanks to my lawyer, Ana Hita, who had to get involved. However, once I returned to the show, I was treated differently [by] several of the male crew members close to Alarr and also by Ken Corday. I was eventually released from the show, but not before trying to have a verbal conversation with my agents and legal team and with Corday Productions, with my intention consistently being clear that I wanted to stay on the show as I needed a job. Corday refused to have a verbal conversation with my team. And also, I still have not received any information or results from what came from my own conversation with Sony HR.
So, for all my coworkers who said they were scared to say anything out of fear of being fired? Well, you all were right. After my loyalty to Ken Corday and Corday Production for 25 years… and loving this show with all my heart, working to my highest ability, doing the right thing, and standing up for myself and others is clearly what got me pushed out of my longtime career at Days of our Lives."
"To me, the struggle to create a safe, balanced and fair environment continues on. I'm just sad that I'm no longer there to be the voice for those who need it most. So I do wanna say one more thing, because we did discuss that we were not taking questions, but maybe we will. I'm not sure.
"But I do want to address this in regards to Albert's comments about being pushed out because he's a Black man. Well, I'm Jewish and I'm a woman. And I'm a white woman, yes. But racism works both ways. And after everything you have read and after the numerous people who have come forward from all nationalities, I have a question for you: Do you think this lawsuit is about racism? Or do you think this lawsuit is about these two particular men, Mr. Alarr and Mr. Corday, not taking accountability for their actions?"
(WATCH) Veteran soap actress Arianne Zucker, who started as Nicole Walker on Peacock's 'Days of Our Lives' until her contract expired in January, speaks out on her lawsuit against Ken Corday, Corday Prods. and former director/EP Albert Alarr alleging sexual harassment pic.twitter.com/QlKphgXxH4ó Deadline Hollywood (@DEADLINE) February 8, 2024
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