A day after pulling wedding-planning ads that feature two brides kissing at the altar, The Hallmark Channel has reversed course and said that LGBTQ-themed advertising was welcome.
“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,” Hallmark president and CEO Mike Perry told CNN.
GLAAD, the world’s largest LGBTQ media advocacy organization, issued a statement shortly after the decision was announced.
“LGBTQ people are, and will continue to be a part of advertisements and family programming and that will never change,” said GLAAD president and CEO Sarah Kate Ellis.
Hallmark originally pulled the ads after a petition was circulated by the conservative group, One Million Moms, who also spoke with Crown Media Family Networks, Hallmark’s parent company.
Four of the six ads submitted by Zola featured a lesbian couple. All four of those were pulled, leaving the remaining opposite-sex couples. Zola promptly yanked those ads. It is not known if Zola plans to follow through on Hallmark’s offer to reinstate all of its advertising.
The network was slammed with worldwide criticism over the weekend following its initial decision to not “generate controversy” by pulling the ads. Some of that came from the actors that frequented the channel’s line-up of feel-good movies, but were let go after trying to make them more diverse.
“Just going through some old emails from a #Hallmark job I was ‘let go’ from back in January,” wrote Hillarie Burton, who had starred in three of the channel’s movies, as well as the drama One Tree Hill. “I had insisted on a LGBTQ character, an interracial couple and diverse casting. I was polite, direct and professional. But after the execs gave their notes on the script and NONE of my requests were honored, I was told ‘take it or leave it.’
Netflix aired its own take on the situation.
One Million Moms had not posted a response to Hallmark’s decision as of Sunday evening, but a post on its Facebook that went up shortly after the reversal was announced stated that “Nothing changes our King or His call.”
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