You’d figure the Hallmark Channel, a company that makes most of its money around the holiday seasons, would behave a little better while under the holiday spotlight. Just a few weeks ago, Hallmark was under the fire of a faux petition created by LifeSiteNews, a Catholic anti-abortion news outlet, after the company swore they’d be looking for pitches for LGBT movies in the coming under. Maybe in the spirit of the jolly holidays that’d keep to their word? Well, no.
At the beginning of last week, Hallmark decided to take down an ad from an online-wedding firm Zola, which “showed two women getting married and pondering how their wedding might have improved with the use of Zola’s services.” Hallmark justified their decision by insisting they wished to “avoid controversy,” after conservative advocacy organization One Million Moms had started a petition against Zola’s ad being featured on the Hallmark Channel.
Of course, there was backlash.
Saturday night, Walt Disney’s Freeform cable network came out on social media in a tweet against Hallmark Channel, saying, “This is what happens when you focus all your energy on exclusion instead of clever plotlines.” The cable network then urged Zola to contact Freeform so they may run the ads because they “celebrate the holidays with everyone.”
Talk show host Ellen DeGeneres said, “All the groovy gay ladies I know won’t be watching your Christmas schlock. They’ll be out celebrating with their ‘families’ wives, children, friends on & on & getting married in chic ensembles. Didn’t you all get the memo? Family is all inclusive”
Even SNL poked fun at the company!
So how did Hallmark Channel respond? Well, exactly how a big corporation losing massive amounts of money might respond. Just last night, Hallmark Channel reversed its stance on Zola’s ad, admitting that they were not living up to the company’s slogan of, “When you care enough to send the very best.” Yeah, you think?
“The Hallmark Channel will be reaching out to Zola to reestablish our partnership and reinstate the commercials,” said Mike Perry, president and CEO of Hallmark Cards, which controls Crown Media Networks, the parent company of Hallmark Channel, in a prepared statement. “Across our brand, we will continue to look for ways to be more inclusive and celebrate our differences.”
While many are celebrating the reversal of Hallmark Channel’s decision against the ad, they have already gone back on their word once before, why wouldn’t they do it again? I’ll start to believe the change when they start making LGBT holiday romance movies.