The Bold and The Beautiful, a US soap set in the fashion industry, will soon introduce the first same-sex romance in its 25-year history.
The show, winner of the outstanding daytime drama Emmy for the past three years, will reveal on May 17 that the character Karen Spencer (played by returning cast member Joanna Johnson) is a lesbian and married to a woman named Danielle who will be played by soap opera veteran Crystal Chappell.
'Once we decided to bring Karen's daughter, Caroline, onto the show, the question naturally arose, 'Who is the father? Why doesn't she seem to have one? I started thinking about all the story possibilities and decided, 'Why not give her two mothers?' the show's head writer and executive producer Bradley Bell tells TV Guide. 'Everyone on the show has a mother and father and that's getting a little dull.'
Chappell is an Emmy-winning actress who had previously starred on Days of Our Lives, One Life to Live and Guiding Light and currently stars in the Emmy-winning web series Venice as a gay interior designer living in Venice Beach, California.
'When it came to casting Karen's partner, I thought immediately of Crystal Chappell,' Bell says. 'She was at the top of my list. I called her, she was interested, so here we are.'
Chappell's Guiding Light character of Olivia Spencer became involved in a lesbian relationship in 2009, the final year of that soap's run. Although the pairing of Olivia and Natalia Rivera (played by Jessica Leccia) was popular with fans, the pair never kissed or showed physical interaction beyond touching pinkies and trading smoldering looks.
Bells insists that won't be the case with The Bold and the Beautiful pairing.
'Karen and Danielle are a modern married couple, so why wouldn't they kiss?' Bell says. 'We plan to discuss the real issues, present some prejudices, and try to get people to move forward in their thinking, instead of backward. I want to do this story because I listen to all the political debates on the subject of same-sex marriage and can't believe I share the same country with people who think so differently about human rights. I want to put my hat in the ring and, hopefully, help change some thoughts and opinions on the issue.'