Hallmark can't seem to avoid controversy this Christmas season.
Earlier this month, Hallmark ran Zola.com ads featuring a same-sex wedding, which included a lesbian kiss.
In response, One Million Moms (1MM) created a petition, demanding that Hallmark remove the ads. Over 31,000 people took action and signed the petition.
On Dec. 13, 1MM updated its petition, saying that the organization personally spoke with Crown Media Family Networks CEO Bill Abbott. According to the update, Abbott confirmed to 1MM that they had pulled the Zola.com commercial and that "the advertisement aired in error."
Hallmark then officially announced its decision to pull the ads on Dec. 14, saying that the "debate surrounding these commercials on all sides was distracting from the purpose of our network, which is to provide entertainment value."
The decision quickly garnered backlash from the pro-LGBT community, which threatened to boycott the channel.
Ellen DeGeneres, popular TV show host who is open about her homosexuality, tweeted at Hallmark, asking for an explanation as to why they were pulling the LGBT ad.
Hallmark promptly responded on Dec. 15, announcing it was reversing its prior decision:
Crown Media Family Networks apologizes for the decision to remove an ad featuring a same-sex couple. "We are truly sorry for the hurt and disappointment this has caused," said Mike Perry President & CEO, Hallmark Cards Inc. Full statement here: https://t.co/bpyOss0tmu— Hallmark Channel (@hallmarkchannel) December 16, 2019
In their full statement, the network said it is, and always have been, "committed to diversity and inclusion--both in our workplace as well as the products and experiences we create."
The company also announced it would start working with GLAAD to "better represent the LGBT community across our portfolio of brands." In addition, representatives said they would reach out to Zola to re-establish their partnership with them and reinstate the formerly pulled ads.
But now, once again, the Christian community is not thrilled.
Franklin Graham took to Twitter to tell the world he was not afraid to change the channel if Hallmark showed an ad with two gay people kissing.
"We can change the channel," he wrote. "That's what I'll do if I'm watching @HallmarkChannel & an ad w/ gay people kissing comes on. My family—& many, many others—have appreciated their wholesome content. But the LGBTQ agenda bullies everybody—including them."
1MM also created a fresh petition to boycott Hallmark in response to its recent decision.
"After subsequent backlash from the gay community, the Hallmark Channel caved," the petition says. "Reversing what it called a 'wrong decision,' a Hallmark statement on Sunday said the channel will reinstate commercials featuring same-sex relationships."
As of 9:15 a.m. EST today, over 27,000 people have signed 1MM's petition.
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