Tis the season for tolerance. The Hallmark Channel has reinstated LGBTQ-inclusive advertisements for the wedding planning and registry company Zola.com, after they decided to pull them from their network due to complaints from the conservative group One Million Moms.
There were six commercials for Zola.com that began airing on Hallmark on December 2 and one of them included two women exchanging vows and later kissing. One Million Moms claimed it was not family-friendly and petitioned Hallmark to pull the commercial and other LGBTQ content. CEO of Hallmark, Mike Perry in a statement on Sunday:
“Earlier this week, a decision was made at Crown Media Family Networks to remove commercials featuring a same-sex couple. The Crown Media team has been agonizing over this decision as we’ve seen the hurt it has unintentionally caused. Said simply, they believe this was the wrong decision. Our mission is rooted in helping all people connect, celebrate traditions, and be inspired to capture meaningful moments in their lives. Anything that detracts for this purpose is not who we are. As the CEO of Hallmark, I am sorry for the hurt and disappointment this has caused.
Hallmark is, and always has been, committed to diversity and inclusion – both in our workplace as well as the products and experiences we create. It is never Hallmark’s intention to be divisive or generate controversy. We are an inclusive company and have a track record to prove it. We have LGBTQ greeting cards and feature LGBTQ couples in commercials. We have been recognized as one of the Human Rights Campaigns Best Places to Work, and as one of Forbes America’s Best Employers for Diversity. We have been a progressive pioneer on television for decades – telling wide ranging stories that elevate the human spirit such as August Wilson’s The Piano Lesson and Colm Tóibín’s The Blackwater Lightship, both of which highlight the importance of tolerance and understanding.
Hallmark will be working with GLAAD to better represent the LGBTQ community across our portfolio of brands. 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.”
When the ads were pulled GLAAD wasted no time in creating their own petition to urge the Hallmark Channel to reinstate the ads. It didn’t take long to get support.
GLAAD President and CEO, Sarah Kate Ellis followed up with a statement saying, “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. LGBTQ people are, and will continue to be a part of advertisements and family programming and that will never change. GLAAD exists to hold brands like The Hallmark Channel accountable when they make discriminatory decisions and to proactively ensure families of all kinds are represented in fair and accurate ways.”