Mike Perry, the President and CEO of Hallmark Cards Inc., released a statement late Sunday evening apologizing over the Hallmark Channel’s decision to pull four commercials by wedding website Zola.com from its network. They will change course again, and air the commercials as they initially did before conservative backlash.
“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,” Perry wrote in his statement.
Crown Media Family Networks is the Hallmark-owned company managing the Hallmark Channel and other brands, overseen by CEO Bill Abbott who also oversees Hallmark Hall of Fame and Hallmark Publishing.
We reported this weekend that Crown Media caved to the hate group-backed conservative organization One Million Moms and decided to stop airing four of six Zola.com commercials featuring two women in a relationship. One Million Moms blasted them and promised to boycott their network because these commercials “go against Christian and conservative values that are important to your primary audience.”
The commercials were several different versions of multiple scenes where couples at their wedding pondered aloud at how much better their wedding experience would have been if they had used Zola. One of those scenes and at least one of those commercials focused exclusively on a lesbian couple at the altar, where they share a kiss. Although the other scenes focused on straight couples who kissed as well, commercials focused on these couples were allowed to air after the network’s decision.
After Hallmark Channel told Zola.com that they “are not allowed to accept creatives that are deemed controversial,” their representatives made it known they would not advertise with the network any more after this decision. Now, Hallmark will “reaching out to Zola to reestablish our partnership and reinstate the commercials.”
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. pic.twitter.com/p17nJpnjEB
— Hallmark (@Hallmark) December 16, 2019
“The Hallmark Channel’s decision to correct its mistake sends an important message to LGBTQ people and represents a major loss for fringe organizations, like One Million Moms, whose sole purpose is to hurt families like mine,” GLAAD CEO Sarah Kate Ellis said in a statement. “LGBTQ people are, and will continue to be a part of advertisements and family programming and that will never change.”
Conservatives have been targeting the Hallmark Channel network specifically, even going as far as to offer fake petitions to convince the network not to have LGBTQ+ representation, as CEO Bill Abbott said he was “open” to last month. This came after we published a call to the network, among others, to consider centering LGBTQ stories in one of its Christmas movies.