Fans of The Young and the Restless were devastated to hear the news that Christel Khalil (Lily Ashby) was dropping to recurring status. Lily has been quite a big part of the canvas since 2002, so the reduced screen time for the character came as a rather tough blow. Some fans of the CBS soap opera were quick to blame the series itself, but Khalil remains adamant that the decision to go to recurring status was hers and hers alone.
In a recent podcast interview with Soap Opera Digest, the actress explained that a multitude of factors influenced her to take a small step back from the show she's called home for the last sixteen years.
"I'm dating someone in Toronto and I'm wanting to kind of expand career-wise and kind of be able to do other things. I want to have more time with my son," she explains. "A lot of things have been changing in my life over the years. I just figured recurring was kind of a best-case scenario where I get to kind of own my life again and have some more freedom to kind of live my life personally and professionally and then also be able to still kind of pop in [to Y&R] and say hi every once in a while."
But how much will Khalil actually be able to pop in and say hi? After all, Lily is now serving a twelve-month stint in jail for Hilary's (Mishael Morgan) accidental death, and that of her unborn child.
"I have absolutely no idea how they're gonna work this out, I really don't," Khalil acknowledges. "I would still love to come in every month, maybe two to four times a month. As long as I'm not working, I'm available to do that... This isn't fully goodbye, it's more of an I'll see you every now and then!"
As Soap Central readers may recall, the show's executive producer Mal Young did promise that Lily will continue to be a part of the canvas. After news of the actress' decision to go recurring broke, he tweeted that both she and Lily "will remain a much-loved part of Y&R."
What do you think of the storyline the powers that be wrote to handle Khalil's decision to go to recurring status? How do you think Lily could continue being a part of the canvas? We want to hear from you -- and there are many ways you can share your thoughts.