The Hallmark Channel has pulled four ads featuring same-sex couples kissing at their weddings following complaints from a division of the right-wing American Family Association.
Later that day, “Boycott Hallmark” was trending on Twitter.
One Million Moms, a subgroup of the American Family Association, complained on its website earlier this week about lesbians “shown kissing.” It called on Hallmark to stop airing commercials with “same-sex couples.” Such content “goes against Christian and conservative values,” the message warned, adding, “You will lose viewers if you cave to the LBGT agenda.”
The site noted in an update that the CEO of Crown Media Family Networks, which owns the Hallmark Channel, confirmed in a phone call that the first ad singled out by the group had been pulled, and that it was aired “in error.” He also assured members that the Hallmark Channel will “continue to be a safe and family friendly network. Praise the Lord,” the statement added.
A Hallmark representative told the Times that the four of six Zola ads were yanked because “public displays of affection” violated the channel’s policies — yet a Zola ad showing a bride and groom kissing was allowed to remain on air.
Zola, which was informed of the decision on Thursday, was told that Hallmark was “not allowed to accept creatives that are deemed controversial.” Zola had previously run ads featuring same-sex couples with no problem, according to its chief marketing officer, Michael Chi.
“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,” Chi told the Times. “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.”
Response on Twitter was harsh, and many users urged a boycott of the Hallmark Channel.
.@hallmarkchannel you do realize that same sex marriage is the law of the land (see Obergefell v. Hodges). what a huge miscalculation and bigoted stance you have taken. #boycotthallmark https://t.co/RqRYTIAmVA
— Dwight Williams (@dwight_esq) December 14, 2019
If love cannot be celebrated in ALL its forms, then there’s no point in watching #boycotthallmark.
Women kissing offends religious fanatics, but children going hungry is not at all offensive to them.
Where is the outrage from them about kids going hungry?.
— Maria Edwards (@1mtheresa) December 14, 2019
I will not be watching anything having to do with The Hallmark Channel until they affirm the respect and dignity of LGBTQ families. This feels like we’re living in 1999, not 2019.
— Charlotte Clymer🏳️🌈 (@cmclymer) December 14, 2019
— Oskaer (@Oskaer__13) December 14, 2019
— Andy Kenareki (@AndyKenareki) December 14, 2019
.@hallmarkchannel caved to pressure from an anti-LGBTQ group and pulled an ad featuring a same-sex couple on their wedding day.
The only thing controversial here is Hallmark’s shameful actions. Hallmark has failed our community & all of their customers. https://t.co/2u0v9uyQYE
— Human Rights Campaign (@HRC) December 14, 2019
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