TV channel says it will reinstate 30 second TV ad featuring lesbian kiss after Ellen DeGeneres intervenes
The Hallmark Chanel apologised for “the hurt and disappointment” it caused by pulling four adverts that featured two brides kissing.
The US network was on the receiving end of a fierce backlash after it shelved commercials for the wedding planning website Zola which showcased a same-sex wedding.
The spots were pulled following a complaint from the conservative advocacy group One Million Moms, with Hallmark citing an “overt public display of affection” as the problem.
Two similar adverts which features heterosexual couples were allowed to continue airing until Zola pulled them.
#BoycottHallmark began trending.
The decision prompted a #BoycottHallmark campaign on social media, with celebrities including Ellen DeGeneres questioning the decision.
“Isn’t it almost 2020?” The comic asked.
“What are you thinking? Please explain. We’re all ears.”
— Ellen DeGeneres (@TheEllenShow) December 15, 2019
Actor William Shatner wrote that the move “shows an agenda of intolerance from a network that preaches, shows & promotes core values of love, belonging and inclusion.”
Shame on @hallmarkchannel! ?Put the commercials back! @1milmoms has 4K followers. I have 2.5 million and my friends have more. Who are you going to listen to? They are NOT a majority here. Both me and my followers watch your shows, do they? ??♂️ #loveislove Do the right thing. https://t.co/Af4UWf59xi
— William Shatner (@WilliamShatner) December 15, 2019
Netflix used the opportunity to take a swipe at its rival, promoting two of its LGBT+ friendly Christmas titles falling under the category: “Titles Featuring Lesbians Joyfully Existing And Also It’s Christmas Can We Just Let People Love Who They Love.”
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
Hallmark ‘agonised’ over its decision.
Early Monday morning, Hallmark’s parent company Crown Media announced it had reversed its decision.
“The Crown Media team has been agonising over this decision as we’ve seen the hurt it has unintentionally caused,” Mike Perry, Hallmark’s president and CEO said in a statement.
“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.
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“Anything that detracts from this purpose is not who we are. We are truly sorry for the hurt and disappointment this has caused.”
Perry stressed that the company “is and always has been committed to diversity and inclusion – both in our workplace as well as the products and experiences we create.”
He added that the brand will be working with GLAAD “to better represent the LGBT community” and is reaching out to Zola to reinstate the adverts.