Hallmark Issues Statement After Pulling Same-Sex Commercial Amid Backlash

Zola Commercial
Zola/YouTube

Hoo boy, has it been a big weekend for Hallmark Channel. After announcing that it chose to pull a commercial featuring a lesbian kiss from the network, Hallmark has now issued an apology for making that choice in an attempt to undo the backlash it received for getting rid of the same-sex ad ... amid the backlash for showing it in the first place.

But is it too late? Has the damage already been done?

  • Last week, Hallmark pulled this ad, which featured a lesbian wedding, from the network. 

    This decision followed a petition from organization One Million Moms claiming the commercial wasn't family-friendly, and that the network wasn't safe for their children to watch anymore.

    (Oh, give us a break. It's 2019.)

    This choice meant that Hallmark faced a lot of backlash from fans who want to see the channel (and its movies) show a lot more diversity ... and apparently, that backlash pushed Hallmark to make another decision.

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  • On Sunday, Hallmark announced that it reversed its decision, apologizing for removing the commercial from the network. 

    CEO Mike Perry said in a statement

    "The Crown Media team has been agonizing over this decision as we’ve seen the hurt it has unintentionally caused. Said simply, they believe this was the wrong decision. Our mission is rooted in helping all people connect, celebrate traditions, and be inspired to capture meaningful moments in their lives. Anything that detracts from this purpose is not who we are. We are truly sorry for the hurt and disappointment this has caused."

    The network also promised to work with Zola to reestablish its partnership and that Hallmark would be partnering with GLAAD on increasing the LGBTQ-plus representation on the network.

  • Hallmark also took the opportunity to reaffirm its commitment to diversity going forward. 

    Jennifer Vallance, Erica Deutschman in A Cheerful Christmas
    Courtesy of Johnson Production Group/Crown Media United States LLC

    "Across our brand, we will continue to look for ways to be more inclusive and celebrate our differences," Perry added.

    Being that Hallmark was just criticized for being "too white" earlier this month, between that and the current controversy, there's never been a better time for the network to really get to work on becoming more inclusive ... as long as it actually follows through. But we'll have to wait and see if that happens.

  • We're glad Hallmark is doing the right thing, and hopefully, we'll see real change. 

    Sam Page, Lacey Chabert in Christmas in Rome
    Stefano Montesi/Crown Media United States LLC

    As much as we love these wonderfully cheesy Hallmark Christmas movies this season, seeing more people represented on the network is far more important. Now that they know better, they can do better. 

    We'll be waiting for that 2020 Christmas lineup ... and hoping we see more people of all races and sexualities represented in the movies.  

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