Over the weekend, the Hallmark Channel came under fire from various groups because of its airing, and ultimate removal, of a commercial featuring a same-sex couple. Since then, the network’s spokespeople have tried to explain their position in a series of official statements and correspondences with the New York Times, but Twitter users — both proponents and opponents of the ad’s removal — have responded in kind. Needless to say, it’s all pretty dumb.
The ad in question, which was part of a group of six, is for the wedding registry website Zola.com. They individually feature a wide variety of couples, though it was the one above — in which two women are getting married — that Hallmark decided to remove after caving to pressure from conservative groups. (Specifically, the American Family Association’s division known as “One Million Moms,” which took credit for the commercial’s removal.) The ad itself is harmless and innocent, but that didn’t stop Hallmark from removing it from its broadcast.
Asked to explain why the ads had been rejected, an employee of Hallmark’s parent company said the channel did not accept ads “that are deemed controversial,” according to an email exchange shared with The New York Times. A spokesman for Hallmark said 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.
Unsurprisingly, and especially because of Hallmark’s evident hypocrisy in how it chose to inflict its supposed policies, critics took to Twitter to lambast the cable network.
.@hallmarkchannel’s decision to remove LGBTQ families in such a blatant way is 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. https://t.co/7S8tOdUnAW
— GLAAD (@glaad) December 15, 2019
.@hallmarkchannel caved to pressure from an anti-LGBTQ group and pulled an ad featuring a same-sex couple on their wedding day.
The only thing controversial here is Hallmark’s shameful actions. Hallmark has failed our community & all of their customers. https://t.co/2u0v9uyQYE
— Human Rights Campaign (@HRC) December 14, 2019
Hallmark is…a mess, honestly. Take it from a former Hallmarker. The things marginalized people have to endure working there…
Like when a white woman said she felt attacked by me asking if there would be any purposeful diversity in a card line. I ended up getting “talked to.” https://t.co/rchpxQeWwH
— LL McKinney is on hiatus. (@ElleOnWords) December 15, 2019
— Lauren Sick (@laurensick) December 15, 2019
I find it interesting that Hallmark Channel will pull ads because families like mine are “controversial” yet on the Hallmark website there are 80, yes 80, cards marketed towards anyone who wants to celebrate a gay couple. pic.twitter.com/bszBWnGtgm
— janashortal (@janashortal) December 15, 2019
Venn diagram of people who are upset over the @zola ads on hallmark because, “THAT’S NOT TRADITIONAL MARRIAGE!!!” and who are also okay with voting for a guy who had sex with Stormy Daniels while his third wife was nursing his infant child: #BoycottHallmarkChannel pic.twitter.com/JacS80e6TQ
— Pete (@_Pete__Smith) December 15, 2019
— Ellen DeGeneres (@TheEllenShow) December 15, 2019
“Controversial”? Really, @Hallmark? What a horrible message you are sending not just to all of the same sex couples and their loved ones, but to everyone. #lovemeanslove.🌈
Channel Pulls Zola Ads Featuring Brides Kissing – The New York Times https://t.co/r0SbfjIYDy
— Valerie Jarrett (@ValerieJarrett) December 15, 2019
This actually has me genuinely angry.
It's disgusting and pathetic that Hallmark caved to a mob of trad snowflakes and spiked a perfectly innocuous ad. A slap in the face to gay people everywhere. #BoycottHallmarkChannel https://t.co/ziTMn33ja4
— Brad Polum-ketchup-on-steak-bo (@brad_polumbo) December 15, 2019
(Via New York Times)