The Hallmark Channel apologized Sunday for removing ads depicting lesbian couples getting married.
Hallmark pulled four ads Thursday in which lesbian women are shown kissing one another at the altar. The ads were part of a series of six ads created for the wedding planning website Zola, first featured on the Hallmark Channel on Dec. 2. A spokesman for Hallmark told The New York Times the ads violated Hallmarks rules on “public displays of affection.”
But the company announced in a Sunday statement that they will be reinstating the ads and apologized for any harm they may have caused. (RELATED: Buttigieg Slams Hallmark For Removing Lesbian Ads: ‘Being ‘Family Friendly’ Means Honoring Love’)
“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,” Hallmark Cards CEO Mike Perry said in a statement to CNN Business. “We are truly sorry for the hurt and disappointment this has caused.”
A spokesman for the company had said that “overt public displays of affection” violated company policy.
The decision to pull the ads came after the group One Million Moms petitioned Hallmark to “please reconsider airing commercials with same-sex couples.” One Million Moms is part of the American Family Association, an organization dedicated to fighting “indecency.” As of Sunday afternoon, the petition garnered more than 27,000 signatures.
“One Million Moms is asking Hallmark to stay true to its family friendly roots that so many families have grown to love, and to keep sex and sexual content — including the promotion of homosexuality — out of its programming,” One Million Moms said in a statement.
2020 presidential candidate Mayor Pete Buttigieg criticized the move Sunday on Twitter, while the LGBTQ advocacy group GLADD said that Hallmark’s decision to pull the ads was “discriminatory and especially hypocritical coming from a network that claims to present family programming and also recently stated they are ‘open’ to LGBTQ holiday movies.”
Netflix weighed in on the dispute by tweeting, “Titles Featuring Lesbians Joyfully Existing And Also It’s Christmas Can We Just Let People Love Who They Love.”
Titles Featuring Lesbians Joyfully Existing And Also It’s Christmas Can We Just Let People Love Who They Love
Let It Snow
Merry Happy Whatever pic.twitter.com/LTwnHogkoJ
— Netflix US (@netflix) December 15, 2019
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