The Hallmark Channel, part of the Hallmark Cards group, has come under fire taking down an advertisement featuring a lesbian couple getting married after pressure from critics.
The company recently pulled four ads from wedding-planning company Zola from its channel after certain sections of people outraged against the advertisements featuring same-sex couples. Similar ads featuring heterosexual couples were not pulled down.
In response, Zola has said it will remove all its other ads from Hallmark. The company issued a statement in response stating "All kisses, couples and marriages are equal celebrations of love" and they will "no longer be advertising on Hallmark" post the incident.
The ads were pulled following outrage by One Million Moms, a wing of the Christian-right American Family Association, called for a boycott of Hallmark for airing the ads on their network. The organisation posted a call to action for its supporters on its websites, adding that though Hallmark was "usually safe for family viewing. But unfortunately, that is not the case anymore." The main complaint was against a kiss shared by the lesbian couple getting married in the ad. Hallmark clarified saying they pulled the ads after complains they were "distracting from the purpose of our (Hallmark's) network, which is to provide entertainment value.”
Nevertheless, the incident has caused outrage against Hallmark Channel, both on social media and off it. Several netizens criticized the move by the channel as "homophobic" and also called for a "boycott" of the channel for caving to "bigoted" pressure from anti-LGBTQIA groups.
This is the lovely ad that @HallmarkChannel pulled from their broadcast after conservatives complained. A simple kiss by lesbian newlyweds. Same-sex marriage has been the law of the land for four years. LGBTQ families are beautiful.#BoycottHallmark pic.twitter.com/4UFDiebBVi— Charlotte Clymer️ (@cmclymer) December 14, 2019
Taking to Twitter, author Allie Larkin wrote, "...this makes me so sad. The idea that family-friendly can’t include all kinds of families is hurtful and heartbreaking. I want to see love stories that reflect everyone’s experiences".
Oh, @hallmarkchannel, this makes me so sad. The idea that family-friendly can’t include all kinds of families is hurtful and heartbreaking. I want to see love stories that reflect everyone’s experiences. #loveislove https://t.co/FajwPGPEFC— Allie Larkin (@AllieLarkin) December 14, 2019
Others also joined the protest.
The better response would have been to make future movies more diverse in their love stories. Who wouldn't love a Christmas princesses or Thanksgiving soccer dads or whatever. Wrong side of the line, @hallmarkchannel— Jenny Colvin (@readingenvy) December 14, 2019
Too bad I never watch Hallmark Channel because I can’t now boycott it. Meanwhile, conservatives are The true snowflakes. Same sex marriage is the law of the land. I wonder if they get so pissed at ads with interracial couples. https://t.co/GbILSyMOT0— Roger Glover on bass (@HalsMisbegotten) December 15, 2019
Shame on @hallmarkchannel for their discriminatory actions. What’s next? No more black, brown or Asian people? Our family is LGBTQ positive and we will never watch any Hallmark channel again. We will also tell everyone we know to boycott Hallmark for their hateful message. https://t.co/9ZLZsQqvAp— Michele Tobin (@zoogirl7) December 15, 2019
It’ll be a shame if this commercial Hallmark pulled after receiving bigoted complaints by the group One Million Moms racked up millions of views on social media and reached far more people than it would have if they had just left it alone. #BoycottHallmark pic.twitter.com/QGN9wJ1lxz— Eugene Gu, MD (@eugenegu) December 14, 2019