Hallmark Reverses Decision To Ban Ads Featuring Lesbian Couple
After an online backlash, The Hallmark Channel has reversed its decision to ban ads featuring a lesbian couple.
The Hallmark Channel has reversed its decision to pull ads by wedding planning website Zola that included a lesbian couple after receiving a complaint from a far-right women’s organization:
Hallmark apologized on Sunday after facing days of backlash for pulling four television ads that featured brides kissing each other.
In a statement, Mike Perry, the president and chief executive of Hallmark Cards, said the team at Hallmark Channel’s parent company, Crown Media Family Networks, had “been agonizing over this decision as we’ve seen the hurt it has unintentionally caused” and that “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,” he said. “Anything that detracts from this purpose is not who we are. We are truly sorry for the hurt and disappointment this has caused.”
Hallmark said in the statement that it would work with GLAAD, a national L.G.B.T.Q. media advocacy organization, “to better represent the L.G.B.T.Q. community across our portfolio of brands,” and that it planned on contacting Zola to “re-establish our partnership and reinstate the commercials.”
Zola, a wedding website service, had a series of six commercials for the Hallmark Channel. First appearing on TV on Dec. 2, most of the ads feature a same-sex female couple along with heterosexual couples. One of the six ads focuses on only the lesbian couple. The channel pulled four of the ads after a targeted campaign by a conservative group.
“We were deeply troubled when Hallmark rejected our commercials for featuring a lesbian couple celebrating their marriage, and are relieved to see that decision was reversed,” Mike Chi, the chief marketing officer of Zola, said on Sunday night. “We are humbled by everyone who showed support not only for Zola, but for all the L.G.B.T.Q. couples and families who express their love on their wedding day, and every day.”
Sarah Kate Ellis, the president and chief executive of GLAAD, said: “The Hallmark Channel’s decision to correct its mistake sends an important message to L.G.B.T.Q. people and represents a major loss for fringe organizations, like One Million Moms, whose sole purpose is to hurt families like mine. L.G.B.T.Q. people are, and will continue to be, a part of advertisements and family programming, and that will never change.”
Hallmark said it “is, and always has been, committed to diversity and inclusion — both in our workplace as well as the products and experiences we create,” and noted that the company had L.G.B.T.Q. greeting cards and had featured L.G.B.T.Q. couples in commercials.
“We have been a progressive pioneer on television for decades — telling wide ranging stories that elevate the human spirit,” the company said.
Here’s the statement from Hallmark:
One Million Moms, predictably, is calling for a resumption of its boycott:
The Hallmark Channel has always been known for its family friendly movies. Even its commercials are usually safe for family viewing. Unfortunately, that is not the case anymore.
After removing a controversial ad featuring two lesbians kissing at the end of their wedding ceremony, Hallmark has again reversed course — and apologized for offending the homosexual community. One Million Moms, a division of the American Family Association, is now calling for a boycott of the channel.
It is the belief of 1MM that same-sex relationships are still extremely controversial and it should be left to parents to bring up the subject with children. It is clear that Hallmark is no longer family friendly, and parents will need to exercise caution before heading to the channel.
After the Hallmark Channel aired the commercial from Zola.com, 1MM voiced its concern and gave Hallmark the opportunity to do the right thing. On Friday, Crown Media Family Networks CEO Bill Abbott told 1MM that Hallmark Channel pulled the Zola.com commercial. He stated the advertisement aired in error, but he was informed about it after hearing from concerned 1MM supporters.
After subsequent backlash from the gay community, the Hallmark Channel caved. Reversing what it called a “wrong decision,” a Hallmark statement on Sunday said the channel will reinstate commercials featuring same-sex relationships.
The network said it would be “reaching out to Zola to reestablish our partnership and reinstate the commercials.” The statement also said, “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 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.”
Conservative viewers will be disappointed to learn that Hallmark intends to not only air commercials with LGBTQ content but is open to producing LGBTQ movies in the future.
So many people feel betrayed because this is one of the very last channels that families could go to and not be bombarded with politically correct commercials and LGBTQ agenda.
Family entertainment is not the outlet in which to be politically correct by forcing tolerance and acceptance of homosexuality – a sinful lifestyle that Scripture clearly deems as wrong. You can read so in Romans 1:18-32.
1MM has been called a hate group when speaking the truth, but the truth is anything but hateful.
The culture war, better yet the war for the soul of man, is definitely heating up. 1MM will keep fighting because souls are at stake. This LGBTQ spirit is the same spirit we read about in the Bible that confronted Lot. It’s relentless but the good news is we serve the God who is King of kings, Lord of lords, and will not be mocked. Hallmark, Zola, etc. and all that make up those companies will ALL bow to the Lord.
One Million Moms is asking once again for Hallmark to stay true to its family friendly roots that so many families have grown to love, and to keep sex and sexual content – including the promotion of homosexuality – out of its programming.
The reversal of the decision came after an online backlash, epitomized by calls to boycott not just the Hallmark Channel but also its parent company, began to circulate online. It quickly became apparent that the company had offended a significant portion of the population, and most likely its target demographic, additionally there were reports that it was receiving complaints from people involved in the production of its Christmas-related and other productions. No doubt, at some point they realized that the group of people opposed to the decision to pull the ads far outnumbered those allegedly offended by them. Finally, the company was receiving a significant amount of negative coverage over on news channels over the weekend. While not a publicly-traded company, Hallmark has in recent years sought to widen its customer base, including product lines that cater directly to members of the LGBT community. Thus, the reversal is far from surprising and it was wise of the company to limit the damage as mus as possible.