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Hallmark Reverses Course on Lesbian Wedding Commercial

Can they make some actual LGBT content next?

cute lesbians at their wedding in an add by zola

Following massive backlash and social media outrage due to the Hallmark channel’s decision to drop commercials from wedding planning site Zola, Hallmark CEO Mike Perry has reversed the decision and issued an apology. The apology comes after Zola pulled all their ads from the network after some of their spots featuring a lesbian wedding were removed following a conservative, homophobic protest.

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Perry issued the following statement ins response to the controversy, after promising that Hallmark is working with GLAAD to better represent the LGBT community.

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 from this purpose is not who we are. We are truly sorry for the hurt and disappointment this has caused. … Across our brand, we will continue to look for ways to be more inclusive and celebrate our differences.

This is a very good first step and a good apology from the company. This comes in addition to a statement on Hallmark’s corporate website which affirmed the company’s commitment to diversity and inclusion and reiterated: “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.”

I’m glad Hallmark responded so quickly and rectified this mistake. It was completely wrong to censor a depiction of a lesbian wedding, something loving and joyous and to gave to bigots that don’t see that.

But I also hope that Hallmark takes this as a learning experience and sees that there might actually be a huge market for people who want queer, sweet, sappy Hallmark type content. The audience is there and the response to this mistake shows that there are far more people in America now who want to celebrate all love than shame it.

Our culture has changed a lot in the last few decades in terms of acceptance and celebration of queer people and our stories, but as the protests against the Zola commercial show, there are still loud, angry people out there who seem queer love as something dangerous, rather than beautiful. Hallmark reversing their decision is one step in disproving that, but Hallmark actually making LGBT content is the next step in changing hearts and minds, because representation does matter.

And remember … there are already some pitches out there.

(via: The Hollywood Reporter, image: Zola)

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Jessica Mason
Jessica Mason (she/her) is a writer based in Portland, Oregon with a focus on fandom, queer representation, and amazing women in film and television. She's a trained lawyer and opera singer as well as a mom and author.

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