On Thursday of last week, the Hallmark Channel pulled an ad by the popular wedding-planning website, Zola.com. The ad featured a lesbian couple kissing at the altar.
A conservative group known as ‘One Million Moms’ targeted the network saying they are. “fed up with the filth many segments of our society, especially the entertainment media, are throwing at our children.”
Following backlash from the organization, Hallmark pulled the ad immediately and said in their original statement. “debate surrounding these commercials on all sides was distracting from the purpose of our network, which is to provide entertainment value.”
LGBTQ advocates became vocal about the network’s decision right away.
South Bend, Ind. Mayor Pete Buttigieg, made comment saying. “Families are built on love—no matter what they look like. being ‘family-friendly’ means honoring love, not censoring difference.”
Talk show host, Ellen Degeneres, addressed the network and executive Bill Abbot via twitter, writing “Isn’t it almost 2020? @hallmarkchannel, @billabbottHC… what are you thinking? Please explain.”
Come on, you know it’s bad when Ellen has something to say about it.
One of Disney’s cable channels, Freeform, tweeted, “This is what happens when you focus all your energy on exclusion instead of clever plotlines. Call us, @Zola. We celebrate the holidays with everyone.”
Netflix didn’t stay quiet either, tweeting a list of LGTBQ-friendly holiday movies available in their library with the caption: “Lesbians Joyfully Existing And Also It’s Christmas Can We Just Let People Love Who They Love.”
After causing quite a stir, president and CEO of Hallmark, Mike Perry, apologized on Sunday for removing the ads and claims the company has made the ‘wrong decision’.
Speaking on behalf of Hallmark’s parent company, Crown Media, Perry said “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,” he said. “As the CEO of Hallmark, I am sorry for the hurt and disappointment this has caused.”
Hallmark CEO, Perry, said in his last statement that the network will reach out to Zola to “reestablish our partnership and reinstate the commercials.”
It’s almost 2020 and the LGBTQ community has come so far in recent years, it’s hard to believe that major companies like Hallmark haven’t adapted to changing views. What do you think? Let us know in the comments!