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Joanna Johnson Comes Out Of The Closet as B&B's First Same-Sex Couple Begins to Air!

Photo Credit: Kathy Hutchins

Photo Credit: Kathy Hutchins

In an absolutely fabulous interview out this morning with TV Guide, Joanna Johnson (Karen Spencer) admits publicly that she is gay and reveals that details and emotions that led her to keep her sexual identify under wraps during her many years in daytime soaps.

As many know, this week on The Bold and the Beautiful viewers and members of the Spencer family will begin to find out that Karen is a lesbian, and she has partner, too.  Enter, Daytime Emmy winner, Crystal Chappell in her new role as Danielle.  Here are a few riveting excerpts below  from the feature!

Joanna on “officially” coming out,  making her the only performer in daytime to do so publicly:  “Daytime is a whole different world than primetime or theater or film. There’s a greater intimacy between the viewers and the characters. They think you are your character. And that creates a lot of fear. Fear of rejection. I was so worried I wouldn’t be employable as an actress if people knew I was a lesbian. Or that I wouldn’t be believable in romance stories. I had to deal with a lot of self-loathing.  After I started playing Karen, I remember doing a fantasy scene that showed what life would have been like if Caroline had not died of cancer. She was married to Ridge and had two kids and a wonderful life. When we finished shooting, I ran to my dressing room and just cried and cried because I knew I was never going to have that kind of life.  And now on B&B we’re finding out that Karen is married to this great lady Dani (Crystal Chappell) and together they have raised her daughter Caroline (Lindsey Godfrey)  So times have certainly changed. I guess that’s why I’m ready to open up. It feels weird and wrong to play this revelation about Karen’s life and not talk about my own.”
Joanna’s initial thoughts when she found out that B&B’s head honcho Brad Bell was going to make the character of Karen, gay.  “When Brad Bell called and pitched the story I was kind of thrown. I just said, “Oh.” And there was this very long pause. Then I said, “Where’d you get that idea?”  He laughed.  I laughed.  And I said, “Just make sure you get me a hot wife.” And he did!

Joanna on how her working  relationship is with Crystal Chappell:  “She’s straight and she’s more comfortable playing gay than I am! When we first met up at the show we had to shoot some photos — vacation-type snapshots of Karen and Dani to put on the mantel — and I felt kind of nervous and awkward. I think Crystal thought I was a little crazy but when I explained that I hadn’t yet come out publicly, she got it and has been very lovely and supportive. ”

So what do you think of Joanna Johnson publicly coming out?  Do you think more actors in show business should not be fearful of coming out as well?  Or, do you think it would change your perception of them when watching them portray their characters on television or in film?  Are you looking forward to Joanna and Crystal’s storyline kicking off this week on B&B?   Let us know your thoughts!

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Margie Dalton
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Margie Dalton

Hopefully the world is more understanding. She is very brave! I was raised not to judge anyone.

Michele
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Michele

That is awesome, and good for her!!!

kelltwomyn
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kelltwomyn

Good for you, Joanna! I wish more performers would, or could, come out. They’d be so much happier and it would really help young people with their coming out.

Didn’t Joanna luck up with Crystal as her acting partner??

Blake
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Blake

Great news! So glad she came out. Wonderful interview. Read the whole interview on tvguide.com. I have always liked her as Karen and never knew why she wasn’t on longer.

Tricia
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Tricia

Very proud of her. At the same time I feel a bit disheartened that she had to go through so much anguish. I think she will have a great friend in Crystal Chappell and I look forward to their storyline very much!

kay killgore
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kay killgore

Ms. Johnson I knew that you were gay and it never even entered my mind to be concerned about it as I loved your portrayal of Caroline. I am sorry that you have felt this way I do not put much thought into actors personal lives none of my business I just am glad you are back on B&B as long as they don’t have you become involved with Steffy/Liam/Hope and their love life it will be a welcome change to get off that bandwagon!!!!

Jessi
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Jessi

first off… GOOD FOR HER! and 2nd… im so excited to see CC on my screen again 😀

Patrick
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Patrick

Beautiful…. we pause, take it in… realize the truth, isn’t so bad after all… foward! March… focus on the economy… healthcare…. Jobs! so many other issues we collectively can deal with.

Patrick
Guest
Patrick

2ndly… my perspective. Sharing “gay” storylines… is a part of our world. We’ve been a part of your world… from the beginning. It’s not a choice. I’m so taken with the Will and Grandma Marlena story… it’s so lovingly portrayed. this reminds me so much of my life… i was raised by my grandparents… and my grandma (Nonna) loved me unconditionally…. so, hence, i cry, cheer, laugh, recall, remember… the heartache… of going thru the coming out process… the bullying. it’s a startling revelation to command oneself to take control of who you are. Acceptance, for all “americans”, is security.… Read more »

PJ
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PJ

Happy for Joanna, and look forward to seeing her storyline with the wonderful Crystal Chappell on B&B.

Sarah
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Sarah

Joanna is SO GREAT! I can’t wait to see two of my favorite actresses together as a couple 🙂

Michael
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Michael

Our straight male President has come out in favor of gay rights, taking a huge political risk. If he can take this kind of risk during a combative political climate, then gay people EVERYWHERE- sports stars, politicians, film stars, rock stars, policemen, firemen, teachers, and yes, soap stars- owe him one and need to come out of the damn closet already.

Brian Greene
Guest
Brian Greene

Bless you, Joanna, for taking that extra step towards opening up the closet door a little wider.

Big Congrats Go To You, Joanna!

Brian 😀

Mo
Guest
Mo

Read this yesterday in my TV Guide. Super surprised, but a bit saddened when she said she hoped B&B fans would still love her (for her to think that we wouldn’t). WE DO!!!!!

Charles
Guest
Charles

I am not happy with same sex marriage or same sex so called sexual relationships. Please write this story line off the show & let’s not go there.

News

Soap Smarts: How Daytime Dramas Are Using Ingenuity To Get Back Into Production During COVID-19

Daytime dramas seldom get the credit they deserve, and now they should be getting further credit for being the first back into production as the coronavirus pandemic continues to rage on, and trying to implement new ways to keep their trademarks love scenes, intimate moments and two-person scenes somehow looking in tact; even though it will be far from how it was done in the past.

In the story from the Associated Press The Bold and the Beautiful EP, and head writer, Brad Bell – who’s soap was the first one back into the studio – commented on how the show is utilizing mannequins, or real-life significant others to help pull off close contact love scenes and how it is rather groundbreaking. “We feel almost like television pioneers all these years later because we’re the first ones out, blazing new ways of producing the shows with the current safety standards, and we’re getting the job done. It’s very exciting.”

When B&B scripts written pre-coronavirus were reviewed in preparation for shooting during the pandemic now, originally all the cinches and smooches were cut. But Bell found a solution whereby a remote actor recites lines as their on-camera scene partner responds in a “low, intimate voice” and engages in “beautiful, yearning eye contact” with an off-camera doll.

As far as the soapy embrace or lip-lock, B&B cast member Katrina Bowden (Flo) has had her husband and musician Ben Jorgensen stand in for her on-screen love interest, Darin Brooks (Wyatt) since returning to taping new episodes.

Photo: JPI

Days of our Lives EP Ken Corday noted to AP:  The “learning curve” is steep. Before the pandemic, “we were producing eight, one-hour episodes a week. That’s basically 40 or 50 scenes a day.  That’s going to be basically impossible to reopen, so to speak, at that pace. We’re going to have to be more careful. So will there be five shows a week, or more? Yet to be determined.  It will certainly cost more.”

B&B and now Y&R which heads back into production next week, and the others soaps, will be using the company called Reel Health, which launched in response to the COVID-19 pandemic to serve the entertainment industry, and hires medically trained workers to monitor sets and enforce protocols developed by a company epidemiologist and in accordance with industry and government standards,

Alicia Rodis, a veteran intimacy coordinator who helped the actors guild develop guidelines for taping scenes of romance and simulated sex. shared: “Finding ways to put romance on the screen is inevitable and necessary.  At the end of the day, intimacy isn’t going anywhere. Physical intimacy is a part of the human experience. And we’re going to have to find a way to be able to continue to tell these stories, even in extraordinary circumstances.”

So, what do you think of how soaps are tackling taping episodes in the new normal to give their fans a sense of all that they love from their favorite daytime dramas during COVID-19? Share your thoughts via the comment section below.

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Breaking News

General Hospital Shifts Production Restart Date

On Friday, ABC’s daytime drama, General Hospital has now determined to push back their production restart date given the escalating number of cases of the coronavirus as the pandemic has worsened in Los Angles County.

According to Deadline: “GH is now targeting the week of July 20 to resume taping. The situation remains fluid as new infections have been soaring in Los Angeles.”

General Hospital was previously eyeing a return to production this coming Monday on July 13th, before the COVID-19 outbreak saw a spike in numbers.

While GH is pushing itself back another week, The Young and the Restless is at this moment preparing to start taping new episodes beginning on Tuesday, July 14th.

B&B is already back in production and Days of our Lives is now targeting a September 1st restart.

So, glad that GH is holding off a little bit longer to ensure safety first for all involved from cast, and crew? Comment below.

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News

NBA Great and LA Laker, LeBron James Buys B&B and Y&R Co-Creator Lee Phillip Bell’s Beverly Hills Estate

One legend is moving into another legend’s previous home.  Sources are reporting to The Real Deal, that Los Angeles Laker and NBA star, LeBron James has purchased the estate of the the late, Lee Phillip Bell, the beloved co-creator of The Bold and the Beautiful and The Young and the Restless.

According to the report, James is in contract to buy Bell’s estate which was being marketed at 39 million.  It was unclear what James is paying for the 13,000-square-foot property, which sits on a 2.5-acre plot and boasts seven fireplaces, a pool house with two baths, lighted tennis court, and screening room.

Photo: JPI

Bell’s estate was officially put on the market on April 30

This is the third L.A. County mansion purchase for James, who signed as a free agent with the L.A. Lakers in the summer of 2018.  LeBron previously bought two homes in Brentwood, California for 23 and 21 million dollars.

Lee Phillip Bell passed away in late February of this year.  She was remembered during the just completed 47th annual Daytime Emmys In-Memoriam segment on the telecast on CBS.

So, what do you think of LeBron moving into the renowned soap opera creators home?  Comment below.

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B&B’s Heather Tom talks with Michael Fairman immediately following her record-tying win in the Lead Actress category during the 47th annual Daytime Emmy Awards.  Heather and Erika now hold the most wins for an actress with 6! Leave A Comment

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