• Try to Keep Up: Hallmark Accepts, Then Drops, Then Reinstates Ads with Same-Sex Couples

    Surge Summary: The Hallmark Channel has buckled again: after originally deciding to run commercials featuring same-sex couples, it dropped the advertisements in the face of conservative backlash – only to reinstate them after LGBTQ advocacy groups objected to that policy.

    The Hallmark Channel, hazarding whiplash in order to appease a teeny-weeny slice of the population, is flipping on what it called a “wrong decision”. It announced on Sunday it will reinstate commercials featuring same-sex couples it had pulled following a complaint from a conservative group.

    Newser Editors and Wire Services report:

    The earlier decision by Crown Media, Hallmark’s parent company, to pull several ads for the wedding planning site Zola featuring two brides kissing at the altar had launched a storm of protest. Celebrities like Ellen DeGeneres and William Shatner criticized the move and the hashtag #BoycottHallmarkChannel was trending on Twitter at one point, the AP reports.

    According to Fox News/Associated Press, Shatner demanded: “Put the commercials back!” … DeGeneres asked: “Isn’t it almost 2020?”

    Meanwhile, actress Sandra Bernhard sniped at the cable giant, “All the groovy gay ladies i know won’t be watching your Christmas schlock.” (Fox News/AP)

    You’ll note the implication of the comedian/author’s dig: she kvetch’s about the channel’s decision even as she insults their product. Yeah, Sandra Bernhard and those like her were committed Hallmark viewers before this controversy bubbled up, right?

    The Hallmark decision was also mocked on “Saturday Night Live,” and Netflix US tweeted stills from a TV show and movie that it labeled “Titles Featuring Lesbians Joyfully Existing And Also It’s Christmas Can We Just Let People Love Who They Love.”

    Mind you, this development didn’t come out of nowhere. The channel recently seemed to be considering more same-sex themed content.

    Asked about the possibility of holiday movies based on homosexual couplings, Bill Abbott, CEO of Crown Media Family Networks, was quoted in The Hollywood Reporter mid-November as saying: “We’re open to really any type of movie of any type of relationship.” (AP/Fox News)

    Newser quotes Hallmark Cards CEO Mike Perry who issued a statement Sunday evening:

    “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 … We are truly sorry for the hurt and disappointment this has caused.”

    Zola is the wedding planning site that produced the ads and was understandably relieved the decision to pull them had been reversed. It has sent an email to the AP, saying it would be in touch with Hallmark “regarding a potential return to advertising.”

    “We are humbled by everyone who showed support not only for Zola, but for all LGBTQ couples and families who express their love on their wedding day, and every day,” Mike Chi, the company’s chief marketing officer, said in a statement.

    And what about that other significant chunk of the population? The one which believes homosexuality is a perversion or, at least, that it ought not be showcased? Does Hallmark spare a thought for their concerns and sensitivities? It’s certain they formed the backbone of the HC’s viewership and the company risks losing them in the aftermath of this cowardly back-and-forth.

    But, hey, gotta keep happy the three percent of the population who probably rarely tune in to Hallmark in the first place.

    To answer Ellen DeGeneres’ exasperated query: Yep, this is America 2020 indeed.

    HT: Newser

    HT: Fox News/Associated Press.

    The views here are those of the author and not necessarily Daily Surge.

    Image: Adapted from: Hallmark Channel – Seen in Hallmark website: http://www.hallmarkchannel.com. Ripped from http://foxtel.com.au/cms/groups/webcontent/@fox/@corporate/@dotcom/documents/webcontent/
    p_010837.pdf, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=27499551

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