Hallmark Apologizes For Pulling Ad Featuring Lesbian Wedding
On Sunday, the Hallmark Channel decided to return ads featuring the same-sex couple from the wedding-planning company Zola after public protest.
“Our mission is rooted in helping all people connect, celebrate traditions, and be inspired to capture meaningful moments in their lives. Anything that detracts from this purpose is not who we are,” said Mike Perry, the CEO of Hallmark Cards, Inc. “We are truly sorry for the hurt and disappointment this has caused.”
According to a Hallmark statement, the removal of the ads came after pressure from the conservative group One Million Moms, alleging that the commercials were not “family-friendly.”
“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,” GLAAD president and CEO Sarah Kate Ellis said following the release of Perry’s statement. “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.”
It’s unclear whether Zola will proceed to air ads on The Hallmark Channel, but they noted they are relieved by these recent updates.
“Hallmark approved a commercial where a heterosexual couple kissed,” said Michael Chi, Zola’s chief marketing officer. “All kisses, couples and marriages are equal celebrations of love and we will no longer be advertising on Hallmark.”
South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg, also criticized the company over its decision. “Being ‘family-friendly’ means honoring love, not censoring difference,” the mayor, who is openly gay and married to his husband, wrote on Twitter. “This truth will be more important than ever as we rebuild our nation into a place defined by belonging, not by exclusion.”
You can watch the Zola ad below.