Great American Family actor Neal Bledsoe announced he’s leaving the network in a long statement voicing support for the LGBTQIA+ community following Candace Cameron Bure’s comments about “traditional marriage.”
“My life wouldn’t be where it is today without the love, support, and guidance of the LGBTQIA+ community,” Bledsoe told Variety in a statement Monday.
“From my mentors in college, to the myriad of agents and managers, writers and directors, teachers and colleagues, and, of course, my dear friends and family, who have all touched my life, I owe them a great debt.”
Bledsoe, 41, said it was “their community” who helped him navigate “society’s extremely narrow definition of masculinity” by providing him “refuge and a guiding light.”
“And now, if I cannot stand up for that community in their time of need, my debt to them means nothing,” Bledsoe continued.
“So, I want to be very clear: my support for the LGBTQIA+ community is unconditional – nothing is worth my silence or their ability to live and love freely in a world that we are lucky enough to share with them.”
The “Winter Palace” star acknowledged he had been quiet in terms of promotion for his forthcoming movie on the network, “Christmas at the Drive-In,” and said it was because he couldn’t continue “business as usual” at Great American Family where the leadership would make comments that are “hurtful, wrong, and reflect an ideology that prioritizes judgement over love.”
“I was raised as a Christian, and believe in the essential message of love and forgiveness,” he wrote. “That said, I could never forgive myself for continuing my relationship with a network that actively chooses to exclude the LGBTQIA+ community.”
Although Bledsoe didn’t call out Bure, 46, by name, he did refer to her recent Wall Street Journal interview in which she said she felt it was important that GAF planned to keep “traditional marriage at the core.”
“Freedoms of speech or religion, or even the freedom to express beliefs that I might vehemently disagree with, are not the issue here. This is about someone in an executive position speaking about deliberate exclusion on behalf of an entire network. This is why the phrase ‘traditional marriage’ is as odious as it is baffling,” Bledsoe said.
“Not simply wrong in its morality, it’s also a moot point, when you consider that most romantic movies don’t feature married couples at all, nor even weddings, but simply people meeting and falling in love.”
Following severe blowback, including shade from her longtime co-star Jodie Sweetin, over her comments, the “Full House” alum issued a statement in which she defended her remarks and slammed those who “hate” her “values.”
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