After a weekend full of bad publicity for Hallmark, the company is reversing its position on airing an ad featuring a same-sex wedding.
The company, which owns the Hallmark Channel, said it would pull an ad from wedding planning site Zola after the conservative Christian hate group One Million Moms (Twitter count: 4187) whined about how the channel was “no longer allowing parents to be the primary educators when it comes to sex and sexual morality.”
Hallmark vowed to remove the ads with the lesbian couple, leading Zola to end the advertising campaign entirely. (Wise move on their part. The free publicity here must be incredible.)
And now, after a weekend of people calling for boycotts of Hallmark — during the holiday season, no less — for caving in to an anti-LGBTQ Christian group, Hallmark’s CEO says the ads will be returning and the earlier decision was the wrong one. Here’s the statement from CEO Mike Perry:
“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.”
It’s not exactly a profile in courage, but the apology shouldn’t be ignored. Hallmark had said earlier it wants nothing to do with controversy, but staying on the sidelines when it comes to civil rights is taking a side. Airing an ad with a same-sex couple doesn’t mean you support a political position; it means you acknowledge the existence of gay people. It’s not complicated. Just because conservative Christians can’t deal with it doesn’t mean the rest of the world needs to be dragged down to the bottom of the barrel.
For what it’s worth, Zola says it’s relieved by the decision.
One Million Moms hasn’t said anything. Maybe because the one mom who makes up the group was busy yesterday.