Carnie Wilson: The Newlywed Fame
By Noah Michelson
When Carnie Wilson returns to The Newlywed Game on October 12 to resume her hosting duties for a second season, she'll be bringing a few new gay friends along with her. George Takei of Star Trek fame and his husband, Brad Altman, will be the first gay couple to be featured on the show since it began pitting freshly married couples against one another in 1966. We caught up with Wilson to chat about the newly gay game show, find out about the upcoming Wilson Phillips 20th Anniversary reunion, and to get to the bottom of that puzzling lesbian reference on Wikipedia.
Out: I read that you were instrumental in finally getting gay couples on The Newlywed Game.
Carnie Wilson: Last year when we had our first season with me hosting, I asked, 'Why don't we have gay couples on the show?' And the network looked at me and said, 'Uh, we're not really sure.' It just was never really even discussed. Maybe I sparked something -- I hope that I did -- but I think that it couldn't have happened soon enough. It's the real world, it's the real deal and it really comes down to one thing and that's love. That's what this is about: love is love.
Is there any difference between the way George Takei and Brad Altman play the game and how the straight couples play?
No. Everything is the same, from the way they're interviewed to the questions that they are asked -- it's all the same. The thing that I love about the show is that we're not separating or segregating. It's very, very mellow and the way it should be. Because I think if we did make it like, 'And introducing The Newlywed Game with our first gay couple!' it would just be sensational to me and more of a political thing and it's not. I think it will become sensationalized in a way because some people will disagree and some will approve and hopefully most will approve, but all that is inevitable.
It's another way to start an important conversation, but in an unexpected place.
It's wonderful. It's just about time. And you know what? It's with the times. That is what's happening now: there's much more acceptance. And I think people, no pun intended, are really coming out with it because it's everywhere.
Has the fight for gay marriage touched you personally?
My best girlfriend since childhood is gay and married. And my dear soul mate/brother, Daniel, has been with his partner for 20 years. I'm very open and accepting of anyone's preference to love someone no matter if they are the same sex or a different sex. I think it's great.
I was trolling your Wikipedia page -- which I know can be a dubious way to find out information about someone -- and there's an entry stating that you had 'publicly acknowledged a lesbian experience as a teen.'
I didn't have a lesbian experience. Things just get so twisted and weird.
That's why I thought I'd ask -- because I'd never heard that before.
I think that's just -- not appropriate. It's not the case. My girlfriend gave me a kiss on the mouth and I was like 'Ew! That's gross!' And that was my lesbian experience. So if you want to call that a lesbian experience, then fine. I don't.