Hallmark Channel, the romance movie purveyor so ubiquitous it now has its own convention, has decided to pull an ad featuring lesbian brides kissing, following a campaign by the conservative group One Million Moms. 25,000 people signed a petition started by One Million Moms earlier this week that urged Hallmark to remove same-sex wedding ads. According to The New York Times, the ad was pulled because Hallmark Channel does not accept ads “that are deemed controversial.”
The ad was one of six from the wedding planning service Zola. Each ad featured different couples at the altar, debating whether they should have chosen Zola to plan their wedding. Hallmark pulled four of the six ads, and the ad which featured the lesbian couple was specifically deemed inappropriate by Hallmark’s standards, which ban “public displays of affection.” There is no word from Hallmark as of yet on why a similar Zola ad featuring a heterosexual couple was not pulled, or why a romance channel would ban public displays of affection from their ads. Check out the contested ad below.
Update Sunday evening: According to CNN’s Ana Cabrera, Hallmark Channel CEO Mike Perry has now reversed course and decided to “reinstate” the pulled Zola commercial following a weekend of backlash, issuing a statement calling Hallmark “inclusive” with the “track record to prove it.”
“Hallmark is, and always has been, committed to diversity and inclusion - both in our workplace as well as the products and experiences we create,” the statement says. “It is never Hallmark’s intention to be divisive or generate controversy. We are an inclusive company and have the track record to prove it…The Hallmark Channel will be reaching out to Zola to reestablish our partnership and reinstate the commercials.”