The Hallmark Channel is walking back its decision to pull TV ads featuring a same-sex couple kissing on their wedding day … saying it messed up and is “truly sorry.”
The channel recently removed the ads from Zola, a major online wedding registry and planning site, after receiving complaints from the conservative group, One Million Moms. The backlash included a petition signed by more than 30,000 people criticizing Hallmark.
However, that decision was met with considerably more backlash from the public — including another petition signed by 70,000 people blasting Hallmark for “shamefully caving to pressure from an anti-LGBTQ group.”
Ellen DeGeneres and Pete Buttigieg also weighed in, with the presidential candidate responding to One Million Moms’ gripe that the ads weren’t “family friendly.”
Hallmark listened, and its CEO, Mike Perry, says it will be reaching out to Zola to reestablish their partnership and “reinstate the commercials.”
What’s interesting … Perry essentially lays the blame on Hallmark’s parent company, Crown Media Family Networks and its CEO, Bill Abbott, which he says made the call to pull the ads featuring 2 brides kissing at the altar.
He says, “The Crown Media team has been agonizing over this decision as we’ve seen the hurt it has unintentionally caused,” adding … “Said simply, they believe this was the wrong decision.”
For its part, Zola says it is relieved at Hallmark’s reversal, but it’s unclear if and when its ads will air again. Zola originally submitted 6 ads to be aired on the network — 4 featuring the lesbian couple — but when Hallmark pulled the 4, Zola decided to pull the other 2 as well.
Hallmark plans to work with GLAAD to “better represent the LGBTQ community across our portfolio of brands” going forward.
GLAAD president and CEO Sarah Kate Ellis says, “The Hallmark Channel’s decision to correct its mistake sends an important message to LGBTQ people and represents a major loss for fringe organizations, like One Million Moms, whose sole purpose is to hurt families like mine.”