'Melrose' no place for pregnant actress
August 21, 1996
Web posted at: 11:55 p.m. EDT
LOS ANGELES (CNN) -- "Melrose Place" has built a reputation
as a steamy television series featuring a cast of beautiful
men and women.
So when actress Hunter Tylo was offered a role on the show,
it seemed like the move of her career.
But Tylo, a longtime actress on the daytime soap "The Bold
and the Beautiful," became pregnant. And her "Melrose" career
came to an abrupt halt when Spelling Entertainment fired her.
"That was a five-year commitment, and I rearranged my whole
life," Tylo said. "I left (one) job and turned down other
jobs for these people. I made my half of the commitment. My
opinion is they should make theirs."
The letter Tylo received from Spelling Entertainment said in
part that, "although we wish you much joy in this event, your
pregnancy will result in a material change in your appearance
... (which) does not conform with the character you have been
engaged to portray."
But that's not good enough for Tylo, who feels she's being
"When a woman is pregnant, she might have to be camouflaged
for a period of two months," she said. "It doesn't seem right
they can fire you for that."
Pregnancies on high-profile shows have been accommodated.
During "The Cosby Show," Phylicia Rashad became pregnant, but
her character did not. Producers hid the actress's condition.
On "Cheers," however, Rhea Perlman's real-life pregnancy was
written into the show.
"I think the entertainment industry employers are shaking in
their boots," said Gloria Allred, Tylo's attorney. "They're
wondering whether what they always took for granted as a
right -- to fire someone because she became pregnant -- is in
fact legally permissible."
Tylo has since returned to the cast of "The Bold and the
In a written statement, Spelling Entertainment said the
company has offered Tylo a different role on "Melrose Place"
for next fall, if the show is picked up for a sixth season.
But Allred believes that misses the point, saying Tylo is
pregnant now -- and has been denied a job because of it.
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