TVGuide.com: Your fans are furious about this, and I know because I'm one of 'em! What the hell happened here?
Martha Byrne: This was the situation: Last year, I was asked to take a tremendous pay cut, and I did so willingly because I love As the World Turns and understood the financial situation the show was facing. I was willing to do anything to keep the show going, including giving up money, so we worked out a one-year contract. One year later, we go into this new contract negotiation and I had only one request.
I thought it was only fair — and I wanted it on paper — that I would work the same amount of days this year that I did last year. I considered it a gesture of good faith on their part. I asked for nothing else. Zero. But I was told that this could not be put into my contract and, that same day, the show sent out a breakdown notice to recast my role.
TVGuide.com: Was that supposed to be a scare tactic?
Byrne: Maybe. But I thought it was inappropriate. That shouldn't happen in the middle of negotiations. My request didn't warrant that kind of tactic, if in fact it was a tactic. After that, things went from bad to worse. I can't get into those details but it solidified my decision to leave the show.
I never intended to speak about this but I now feel I must after Chris put out that press release saying they did everything they could to keep me. I do not feel that was the case, and I feel the fans deserve the truth.
Read the full Byrne interview now.