Will Hallmark Channel Allow LGBTQ+ Movies Now?
Times have changed and anti-LGBT actions will not be swept under the rug anymore. Hallmark Channel recently faced a huge backlash. This was after the channel removed a Zola ad that featured a ‘lesbian’ couple getting married. Hallmark had removed the ad, following which it faced tons of criticism. While the channel is undoing the damage, speculation has it if it will now allow LGBTQ movies and representation?
Hallmark channel controversy after rejecting same-sex Zola ad
The whole fiasco began when Hallmark executives questioned and stopped an advertisement from airing on their channel.
Speaking to NewYork times, Hallmark’s spokesperson explained that women’s public displays of affection violated the cable outlet’s standards.
The advertisement was by Zola, a company offering wedding registries and planning services. The ad basically featured a lesbian couple wondering if their wedding night would be better had they availed Zola’s services. Zola spokesperson stated that the company will remove all of their advertising content from Hallmark in the “foreseeable future.”
“All kisses, couples, and marriages are equal celebrations of love and we will no longer be advertising on Hallmark,” said Mike Chi, Zola’s chief marketing officer, in a statement.
Of course, huge criticism automatically generated as the issue came under the spotlight.
CEO of GLAAD (Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation), Sarah Kate Ellis said in a statement:
“The Hallmark Channel’s decision to remove LGBTQ families in such a blatant way is discriminatory and especially hypocritical coming from a network that claims to present family programming.”
The network reverses its decision
The company’s decision to remove the ad was also a result of pressure from the conservatives. Such as the advocacy organization, One Million Moms, which had signed a targeted campaign and petition to urge the cable outlet to remove the ad.
However, Hallmark Channel apologized to Zola and reversed its decision against the ad. Mike Perry, president and CEO of Hallmark Cards (the parent company) said in a statement:
“The Hallmark Channel will be reaching out to Zola to reestablish our partnership and reinstate the commercials.
“Across our brand, we will continue to look for ways to be more inclusive and celebrate our differences.”
Will Hallmark release LGBT movies now?
At this point, Hallmark Channel needs to be more representative of all groups and communities in society. That is the only way to reverse the damage done to the company’s vision.
Gloria Calderon Kellett, writer, executive producer, and activist tweeted about it. She urged Hallmark to broadcast a Christmas movie representing LGBTQIA+, Latinx, Asian-Am, Native, and African-Am communities.
Netflix had also used the opportunity to display its own support for LGBT communities. The streaming services tweeted a poster of relevant content that is available to stream on their service.
The competition has also spoken up. Hallmark channel seems to now be in a sensitive spot. Will we be seeing LGBTQ+ movies on the channel?