Mean Girls’ star Jonathan Bennett has a defiant message for bigots who don’t like his gay Christmas film: ‘You don’t matter’
Mean Girls star Jonathan Bennett hopes his gay Hallmark Christmas films will help young queer people “feel less scared and more seen” this festive season.
The Hallmark Channel has a stellar reputation among Christmas lovers for its enormous line-up of original festive films each year.
The films are so widely loved that they have spawned countless memes as, each year, people across the world tune in to watch the predictable but addictive line-up.
However, LGBT+ fans have long been crying out for a queer festive film – and this year, they were finally granted their very own grown-up Christmas wish in the shape of The Christmas House.
The Christmas House follows Mitchell family matriarch Phyllis (Sharon Lawrence) and father Bill (Treat Williams) as they summon their grown-up sons home for the festive season to help recreate the magic of Christmas past.
Bennett plays one of the adult sons who returns to the family home with his husband for the festive season as they wait anxiously to find out if their application to adopt a child has been successful.
When the film was first announced, it was met with expected backlash from religious conservatives, who called on Hallmark to scrap the film.
But Jonathan Bennett told Metro Weekly that the critics are not the voices he’s interested in listening to.
“To quote Theodore Roosevelt, ‘It’s not the critic who counts,'” Bennett said.
“Who matters are the millions who are going to watch this movie and feel like they’re represented. Who matters are the people who are allies and best friends of the LGBTQ community who have friends and sons and brothers and neighbours who are gay and queer and everything in between, who will watch this movie and feel like they see their friends and people they love represented in a movie.”
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He continued: “Who matters are the young people that are going to watch this and are going to feel less scared and more seen this Christmas. That’s who matters.”
Jonathan Bennett Christmas film will push some viewers to the ‘limit’
The Christmas House director Michael Grossman told the Los Angeles Times in November that the film was designed to push some viewers to their “limit”.
“Look, I know what the reputation of the Hallmark Channel is, and what a lot of people across the country expect it to be,” Grossman told the Los Angeles Times.
“I’m hoping that some percentage of these people might just be able to squint their eyes a little bit and learn something about people being people, and people loving each other. And that it isn’t all the things they might imagine it to be.”
Grossman continued: “I understand that, for some of the audience, the kiss is definitely pushing them to a potential limit. But, you know, limits need to be pushed sometimes.”