#BoycottHallmark: The Hallmark Channel Pulls Zola Ads Featuring Brides Kissing

I am a creature of habit, and for the past ten years of my life, I have counted down to Christmas with Hallmark. I’ve loved and lived for their cheesy as fuck Christmas movies – the way that they made me feel that anything could happen, at any moment in time.

Hallmark has been a long standing tradition in so many aspects of my life – from buying their cards, their ornaments – to receiving them. Some of my most treasured memories in life have a Hallmark card somewhere in them.

But tonight – in a blink of an eye, everything changed.

Ironically, I was in the middle of watching Hallmark tonight when I started scrolling through Twitter and I saw that #BoycottHallmark was trending. We live in a cancel culture world, and I wondered immediately what had happened. I went to look at the reasons why. I didn’t expect what I saw.

Hallmark decided that they were going to pull a commercial that featured two brides kissing. The commercial came from Zola, which featured commercials with both same-sex and heterosexual couples. Hallmark made the choice to air commercials with heterosexual couples, but decided to pull the ones featuring a lesbian wedding.

I have yet to figure out what the fuck is wrong with two brides kissing. I have yet to figure out what is so objectionable about this commercial.

One Million Moms, a conservative group, made initial complaints to the network, while Lifesite, a similar group, created a petition that had over 45k signatures the last time we checked.

One Million Moms said that they spoke with, “Crown Media Family Networks CEO Bill Abbott who confirmed Hallmark Channel has pulled the Zola.com commercial, featuring a same-sex couple, from their network. He reported the advertisement aired in error, but he was informed about it after hearing from concerned 1MM supporters.”

The group went on to say on their site that, “Hallmark Channel will continue to be a safe and family friendly network. Praise the Lord!”

Na, bluntly put – fuck off One Million Moms. The absence of two women or two men, or anyone for that matter, kissing doesn’t make Hallmark a safe channel, it makes it a homophobic and bigoted channel.

And that’s something that I can’t support.

Hallmark responded to the situation in a statement to THR, saying that parent company “Crown Media Family Networks made the decision to pull the commercials. The debate surrounding these commercials on all sides was distracting from the purpose of our network, which is to provide entertainment value.”

Not to sound like an asshole, but I’m really sick and tired of some balding white man sitting up in a corporate office, deciding that something that is natural and beautiful (love is love, and we’ll always stand by that), is wrong. Hallmark movies have always entertained me, but watching that commercial also entertained me – it made me laugh, and it made me go yay for two women being in love.

An employee of Crown Media Family Networks also told The New York Times that the channel does not run ads “that are deemed controversial.”

A spokesman for Hallmark also said to the Times, “the women’s “public displays of affection” violated the channel’s policies, but he declined to comment on why a nearly identical ad featuring a bride and groom kissing was not rejected.

Personally, I think we are sending the wrong message here by not airing these commercials, Hallmark. What is controversial here is the fact that you pulled something that wasn’t. You attempted to shame the wedding of two women. You showed your ass, and now we all know who you are.

“The only difference between the commercials that were flagged and the ones that were approved was that the commercials that did not meet Hallmark’s standards included a lesbian couple kissing,” Mike Chi, the chief marketing officer of Zola, said. “Hallmark approved a commercial where a heterosexual couple kissed. All kisses, couples and marriages are equal celebrations of love and we will no longer be advertising on Hallmark.”

Hallmark has been a cornerstone in my life, but it no longer can be. I have friends and family that are gay, and I am proud of them. They are strong, beautiful, endearing human beings who have the capacity to FALL IN LOVE, just as straight people do.

There will be no more Hallmark movies, cards, ornaments – none of that in my life. Am I saddened by that? Yes. But I would be sadder watching a network that caves to conservative groups and doesn’t celebrate love equally.

And quite frankly, anyone who is reading this and doesn’t celebrate love equally, you’re just like Hallmark to us. You no longer exist.

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