Hallmark Channel Apologizes For Pulling Commercial That Features A Lesbian Wedding, Says They Will Reinstate The Ad
After a ton of backlash from outraged fans, Hallmark Channel has issued an apology for pulling a Zola.com commercial off of their network because it featured a same-sex couple getting married. The network has also issued a statement about their decision to pull the ad in the first place, and why they decided to reinstate it.
The controversy began last week when a group known as One Million Moms, a division of the conservative American Family Association, started a petition about the ad that garnered tens of thousands of signatures. The group’s petition said that the commercial promoted homosexuality, and they asked their members to “Please sign our petition asking Hallmark to do what is right and reject airing movies and commercials with LGBT content!”
On December 14th, Hallmark announced their decision to pull the ad, and they said in a statement that the debate surrounding the commercial - from all sides - was distracting from the purpose of their network, which is to provide entertainment value.
Within hours, viewers were all over social media expressing their outrage over the ban, and the issue caught the attention of numerous celebrities. Ellen DeGeneres tweeted that it’s almost 2020, and asked the network what they were thinking. She added, “Please explain. We’re all ears.”
According to NPR , by Sunday night, December 15th, Hallmark had reversed their decision to ban the commercial, and they also issued a statement with an apology.
“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 from this purpose is not who we are. We are truly sorry for the hurt and disappointment this has caused,” President and CEO Mark Perry said.
He added that Hallmark is - and always has been - committed to diversity and inclusion, and they never intended to generate controversy. Perry also revealed that his network would be reaching out to Zola so they could reestablish the partnership and reinstate the commercials.
Perry insisted that Hallmark is an inclusive company with a track record that can prove it. They already have LGBTQ greeting cards, and in the past they have featured LGBTQ couples in their commercials.
Going forward, Perry says that Hallmark will be working with GLAAD so they can better represent the LGBTQ community in their portfolio of brands. And, they will continue to look for ways to celebrate our differences and be more inclusive.