Kansas City-based The Hallmark Channel, has reversed what it called a “wrong decision,” stating Sunday it will reinstate a Zola commercial featuring a same-sex couple that had been pulled following a complaint from conservative group, One Million Moms, which incidentally only has 96,000 members according to CNN.
Zola, an online wedding registry, wedding planner and retailer, had submitted six ads, with four including a lesbian couple. Hallmark pulled four of the ads, leaving the two that featured heterosexual couples. This caused Zola to withdraw the other two.
The organization One Million Moms — known for frequently condemning content that contains LGBTQ themes — issued a statement, claiming that, “Hallmark movies are family-friendly, and you ruined it with the commercial.”
To add insult to injury, a spokesperson from Hallmark said on Friday that the ad was pulled because it violated the channel’s policies with “public displays of affection.” This according to CNN.
The move was subsequently slammed on Twitter by the likes of Ellen DeGeneres and Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg. Netflix also weighed in, with a post titled “Titles Featuring Lesbians Joyfully Existing And Also It’s Christmas Can We Just Let People Love Who They Love.”
Families are built on love—no matter what they look like.
Being “family friendly” means honoring love, not censoring difference. This truth will be more important than ever as we rebuild our nation into a place defined by belonging, not by exclusion. https://t.co/pl5B1BtIdf
— Pete Buttigieg (@PeteButtigieg) December 15, 2019
Titles Featuring Lesbians Joyfully Existing And Also It’s Christmas Can We Just Let People Love Who They Love
? Let It Snow
? Merry Happy Whatever pic.twitter.com/LTwnHogkoJ
— Netflix US (@netflix) December 15, 2019
SNL trolled Hallmark with a skit featuring Scarlett Johansson, in which the host of a Hallmark-branded dating show says: “The true reason for Christmas is husband.”
Mike Perry, President and CEO, Hallmark Cards, issued a statement which you can read below:
“Earlier this week, a decision was made at Crown Media Family Networks to remove commercials featuring a same-sex couple.
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.” said Mike Perry, President and CEO, Hallmark Cards, Inc.
Hallmark is, and always has been, committed to diversity and inclusion – both in our workplace as well as the products and experiences we create. It is never Hallmark’s intention to be divisive or generate controversy. We are an inclusive company and have a track record to prove it. We have LGBTQ greeting cards and feature LGBTQ couples in commercials.
We have been recognized as one of the Human Rights Campaigns Best Places to Work, and as one of Forbes America’s Best Employers for Diversity. We have been a progressive pioneer on television for decades – telling wide ranging stories that elevate the human spirit such as August Wilson’s The Piano Lesson and Colm Tóibín’s The Blackwater Lightship, both of which highlight the importance of tolerance and understanding.
Hallmark will be working with GLAAD to better represent the LGBTQ community across our portfolio of brands. The Hallmark Channel will be reaching out to Zola to reestablish our partnership and reinstate the commercials.
Across our brand, we will continue to look for ways to be more inclusive and celebrate our differences.”
As with every Hallmark movie that airs, there is always a moral. The moral is here, Hallmark you’re not in Kansas anymore when it comes to what you air.