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Soap Star Continues Sapphic Love Story On The Web

“Guiding Light,” TV’s longest running soap opera, will air its final episode on Sept. 8, thanks to bleak ratings. Still, like all soap operas, “GL” has its die-hard fans, many of whom have been obsessed with the storyline surrounding “Olivia” and “Natalia,” two suburban moms played by Crystal Chappell and Jessica Leccia. “Otalia,” as they’re known — soap opera fans started making up hybrid names long before “Bennifer” and “Brangelina” — are the soap’s first and only gay couple. They have never shared a romantic kiss on screen, likely because the conservative company Procter & Gamble, which produces the show for CBS, won’t allow it. Chappell says she was so sad about letting the character and the storyline go that she pushed to have it brought over to “As The World Turns,” another CBS soap, or onto the web. Procter & Gamble refused, so Chappell has taken matters into her own hands.Because P&G owns the characters and the storyline, Chappell can’t touch them, but she is producing her own web series, about a gay woman living in Venice Beach, CA called “Venice.” Because “Venice” is a labor of love and not a money-making venture (at least not yet), Chappell will continue acting professionally, reprising a role she played previously on “Days Of Our Lives.” (Carly Manning, for my fellow soap freaks out there.) She’s taken to social media to stir up buzz for “Venice” — with a Twitter account and a website– and is asking fans to help design the show’s logo. Friends have donated camera equipment, the crew is donating their time, and Leccia is appearing as a love interest of Chappell — “Otalia” together again — for free. The best part of having control? “In the first 30 seconds you see these two women kiss,” Chappell says. Hallelujah! [NY Times]

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