Hallmark reversed its decision when it comes to same-sex advertisements. The network came under fire for pulling multiple commercials featuring a female couple enjoying their wedding day.
Zola, an online wedding registry and planning site, had several ads running on the Hallmark channel. The network initially approved all of the commercials.
However, after ads featuring a female couple kissing at their wedding aired, conservative group One Million Moms, started a petition to have the network pull the ads because they were not “family-friendly.”
The backlash and nearly 30.000 signatures on the petition ultimately led Hallmark to remove all ads featuring same-sex couples.
Hallmark’s decision endured more criticism than airing the ads. According to TMZ, a new petition blasting the network and calling for the commercials to be put back on the air gained over 70,000 signatures.
— Ellen DeGeneres (@TheEllenShow) December 15, 2019
Social media exploded with people furious the network succumbed to demands intentionally excluding people. Ellen DeGeneres wanted an explanation from Hallmark. Presidential candidate, Pete Buttigieg chose to remind the network family is all about love.
The network listened to all the criticism. Days after choosing to pull all Zola ads featuring same-sex couples, Hallmark changed its tune. An apology was issued on Sunday after furious fans used social media to blast the network over the removal of the commercials.
Families are built on love—no matter what they look like.
Being “family friendly” means honoring love, not censoring difference. This truth will be more important than ever as we rebuild our nation into a place defined by belonging, not by exclusion. https://t.co/pl5B1BtIdf
— Pete Buttigieg (@PeteButtigieg) December 15, 2019
“Earlier this week, a decision was made at Crown Media Family Networks to remove commercials featuring a same-sex couple. 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 for this purpose is not who we are. As the CEO of Hallmark, I am sorry for the hurt and disappointment this has caused,” expressed Mike Perry, CEO of Hallmark in a statement to Deadline.
Perry also revealed the company is working with Zola to rebuild its partnership and resume airing all of its ads. He also said Hallmark is committed to working with GLAAD to better represent the “LGBTQ community” across all of their brands moving forward.
Fans of their Christmas films, which is a moneymaker for the network, know there is little if any representation of the LGBTQ community in Hallmark movies.
Perry says the network will work to change the representation of the community in all of their films, not just holiday films.