The Hallmark Channel is where people go to watch wholesome stories about people falling in love over Christmas, or a big city lawyer type having to move back home and discover the true meaning of family. It’s a place with very simple values that can appeal to a wide range of people who just want to turn their brains off for a couple of hours. Unfortunately, they seem to think that their fan base is only the complaining conservatives.
An ad produced by a wedding website company called Zola was pulled from the channel after conservative group One Million Moms started a petition against it, because the ad features two women on their wedding day who actually kiss after saying their vows.
In their petition, OMM claims this is a violation of the Hallmark Channel code, writing, “Until recently, Hallmark had a good record for keeping their movies and commercials family-friendly. Now, parents can no longer trust Hallmark because Hallmark is no longer allowing parents to be the primary educators when it comes to sex and sexual morality.”
After the petition received over 20,000 signatures, Hallmark bowed to the pressure and removed the ads. But this has created even more backlash, as people who aren’t raging homophobes are realizing they can’t support the company. The hashtag #BoycottHallmarkChannel is trending, and folks are expressing their disappointment in Hallmark’s decision:
This actually has me genuinely angry.— Brad Polum-ketchup-on-steak-bo (@brad_polumbo) December 15, 2019
It's disgusting and pathetic that Hallmark caved to a mob of trad snowflakes and spiked a perfectly innocuous ad. A slap in the face to gay people everywhere. #BoycottHallmarkChannel https://t.co/ziTMn33ja4
Dear @hallmarkchannel, this is the year 2019. Don't you think we've had enough hatred and bigotry already? Why would you choose to spoil your reputation by giving in to the demands o bigoted idiots?#BoycottHallmarkChannel https://t.co/orMq5YMpre— Becca Patterson (@Mreauow) December 15, 2019
One Million Moms wants you to let them know if you find trash in the media so I reported them to themselves. I let them know about a homophobic moms group that’s having ads cancelled because two ladies are kissing. #onemillionhomophobes #BoycottHallmarkChannel pic.twitter.com/Z6mk7w3aKB— JayTulk (@IamJayTulk) December 15, 2019
Venn diagram of people who are upset over the @zola ads on hallmark because, “THAT’S NOT TRADITIONAL MARRIAGE!!!” and who are also okay with voting for a guy who had sex with Stormy Daniels while his third wife was nursing his infant child: #BoycottHallmarkChannel pic.twitter.com/JacS80e6TQ— Pete (@_Pete__Smith) December 15, 2019
Gay couples get married. Gay couples kiss. @hallmarkchannel you may retain a small group of viewers who operate on hate with this decision, but you'll lose the the rest of America, the majority. We don't. #BoycottHallmarkChannel (888) 390-7474 https://t.co/gHFGl02iom— Tony Stark 2020 💥⎊ (@1IronMan2020) December 15, 2019
Hallmark pulled this from airing when homophobes complained it was "not suitable for children" for showing a same gender wedding.— Bi-Trans Alliance (@BiTransAlliance) December 15, 2019
LGBTQ+ love is beautiful. Kids deserve to see that.#BoycottHallmarkChannelpic.twitter.com/Kb4fUnMWrE
For anyone who don't understand why people are upset it's because gay people have come a long way and to have an ad pulled because it involved lesbians getting married is upsetting we deserve to be seen just like everyone else #BoycottHallmarkChannel— MG 🌼 🏳️🌈 💋 (@FeministRocks) December 15, 2019
Hallmark has defended their decision, with a representative telling the New York Times that they “are not allowed to accept creatives that are deemed controversial,” and the “public displays of affection” in the commercial were the real problem. However, one ad for Zola continued to air for Zola, featuring a same-sex couple. Who kiss. Of course.
“The only difference between the commercials that were flagged and the ones that were approved was that the commercials that did not meet Hallmark’s standards included a lesbian couple kissing,” Mike Chi, the chief marketing officer of Zola, said in a statement. “Hallmark approved a commercial where a heterosexual couple kissed. All kisses, couples, and marriages are equal celebrations of love and we will no longer be advertising on Hallmark.”
In November, Michelle Vicary, the executive vice president of programming for Crown Media Family Networks which includes Hallmark, told The Wrap that the network is looking to expand diversity after receiving complaints that none of their 70 new holiday movies feature a main character who was LGBTQ.
“We are continuing to expand our diversity,” said Vicary. “We are looking at pitches for LGBTQ movies…and we are looking to expand and represent the United States as a whole.”
This was also met with a petition, this time from a platform called “Life” which is apparently largely used by anti-choice activists. Not a great look, Hallmark Channel. These should not be your people.