Hallmark reverses decision to remove same-sex wedding ad after backlash
16 December 2019, 16:40
Hallmark has issued an apology and admitted that it made "the wrong decision" when it pulled an ad from Zola which featured a same-sex couple kissing on their wedding day.
The Hallmark channel has apologised and vowed to reinstate a Zola advertisement that featured two women kissing on their wedding day. The ad was previously pulled from air following complaints from conservative parents group, One Million Moms.
On Sunday (15 December), Hallmark CEO Mike Perry said that the company had made "the wrong decision" when they removed an ad for the wedding planning company Zola.
The controversy began when conservative group One Million Moms complained that "family entertainment is not the outlet in which to be politically correct by forcing tolerance and acceptance of homosexuality". The complaint was in response to a wedding planning ad where the couple were both women.
A petition asking Hallmark to "keep sex and sexual content – including the promotion of homosexuality – out of its programming" was signed nearly 30,000 times as of Monday (16 December).
Hallmark responded by yanking the ad, a move which troubled many and inspired calls to boycott the channel altogether.
Hallmark initially claimed that the "debate surrounding these commercials on all sides was distracting from the purpose of our network, which is to provide entertainment value".
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 Clymer🏳️🌈 (@cmclymer) December 14, 2019
Hey, #onemillionmoms, reality check. There are a couple of lesbians, & a few LGBT allies, that are frequently found on Hallmark. Going to cancel those shows and all of those Hallmark movies,too? 🙄— 🐅TigerDol🐬 (@TigerDol) December 15, 2019
Hallmark...grow some ovaries. Stand up for what's right.#boycotthallmark pic.twitter.com/qWfh8x7ol9
Gay marriage was made legal across the United States in 2015. At the time, President Obama declared that "love is love" while applauding the landmark decision.
After facing backlash and criticism from many internet users, Hallmark decided to change its position on the advertisements. In their apology, the network said they'd "seen the hurt" their decision caused, vowing to reach out to Zola and work with GLAAD to "better represent the LQBTQ community".
People praised Hallmark for reversing course.
After facing major backlash for pulling the ad of the lesbian couple getting married, @HallmarkChannel is reinstating the ad & put out a statement saying they support inclusion and diversity. Thank you to everyone who stood up for LGBTQ+ equality.— Ryan Knight 🏳️🌈🗽 (@ProudResister) December 16, 2019
Social. Media. Activism. Works.
It's a shame that they caved into the demands of an Ultra-Conservative #hategroup in the first place. In the second place, a good backlash over the ads being pulled is a form of non-violent protest.— Celeste Keenan (@platinumbgurl) December 16, 2019
.@hallmarkchannel made the right choice in reversing their decision to remove an ad featuring two brides kissing. @glaad will be watching to make sure they’re inclusive of LGBTQ families in the future. Thank you to everyone who spoke out. https://t.co/uXme53V5S3— Sarah Kate Ellis (@sarahkateellis) December 16, 2019