The Hallmark channel, one of the biggest networks that premiere holiday specials and family movies, has found itself in the hot seat.
After airing an ad that focused on the beauty of marriage in partnership with the wedding registry company, ZOLA, Hallmark was met with a ton of backlash when the ad debuted. The commercial included three couples, two of them being heterosexual. The third couple involves two Lesbians. Each couple's segment in the ad is pretty much the same. Yet, some viewers were quick to point out the lesbian couple.
This backlash caused the network to pull the portion of the ad that involved the two women while still airing the two heterosexual couples. The most notable organization that led the outcry was the conservative group 'One Million Moms.'
They claimed that by removing the ad it would provide them with the "opportunity to confirm the Hallmark Channel will continue to be a safe and family-friendly network."
Soon after, a spokesperson from Hallmark stated that ads like these distract from the channel's mission "to provide entertainment value". However, the decision to pull the ad was short-lived. GLAAD (Gay & Lesbian Alliance against Defamation) was quick to call out Hallmark on their decision to maintain "a family network" by removing a lesbian couple.
GLAAD was not the only one to speak out. Presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg chimed in questioning the legitimacy of the network's mission to be "family-friendly". In a tweet, he states that "Families are built on love—no matter what they look like…Being 'family-friendly' means honoring love, not censoring difference."
Even cast members from Hallmarks hit show "When Calls the Heart", spoke about the network's decisions to pull the add. Members of the cast posted hearts on their Instagram platforms to stand in support of those fighting to get the ad back on the air. Some notable cast members in the protest include Paul Greene, Erin Krakow, Martin Cummins, and many more. Since then, Hallmark has begun to run the ad in its entirety.
The CEO of Hallmark, Mike Perry, apologized in a statement claiming 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. 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." Continuing, "Hallmark will be working with GLAAD to better represent the LGBTQ community across our portfolio of brands…"
Watch the commercial below: