Everyone has Hallmark Channel on their mind this holiday season, but for all the wrong reasons. The network most known for its cheesily benign, low-budget romantic comedies is now getting attention for its obsolescent and damaging view toward marriage equality.
Zola, the online wedding planner and registry, submitted six ads to Hallmark Channel to run during their peak season. Four of them featured a same-sex narrative, and were pulled after complaints from the backward and reality-denying group known as One Million Moms. The group stated on their website that after speaking with Crown Media CEO Bill Abbott they were able to “confirm the Hallmark Channel will continue to be a safe and family friendly network.” The group also implied that it was Abbott who called them after they launched their campaign.
Zola withdrew the remaining two ads that did not feature stories about same-sex relationships.
The “unsafe” 30 second commercial is embedded above.
Hallmark Channel’s ludicrous capitulation to the One Million Moms (though has anyone counted yet?) drew the ire not just of individuals, but of other brands.
Netflix tweeted shout-outs to two of its own properties involving lesbians and Christmas.
Ellen DeGeneres seemed too deflated to come up with a joke, and merely asked the network (and Abbott) what they were thinking.
William Shatner and Monica Lewinsky also weighed in.
Finally, Saturday Night Live made sure to include a final zing in a game show-themed Hallmark Channel sketch starring Scarlett Johansson. As Aidy Bryant’s character Emily Cringle signs off she reminds us to “stay straight out there.”
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