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Hallmark Channel Caves To Angry Conservatives, Drops Zola Ads Featuring Lesbian Brides

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The Hallmark Channel pulled four TV ads this week that featured a lesbian couple tying the knot and sharing a kiss after a petition to remove the ads by the conservative group One Million Moms received nearly 26,000 signatures.

The ads, which first aired on the channel on Dec. 2, were produced by the wedding website host Zola.com and featured several couples pondering how their wedding day would be different if they used the website to publish their details for guests. The four ads that were pulled were part of a larger six-ad series that primarily focused on straight newlyweds, The New York Times reported.

Earlier this week, One Million Moms, a branch of the SPLC-rated hate group American Family Association, posted a petition about the ads, saying, “The Hallmark Channel has always been known for its family friendly movies. Even its commercials are usually safe for family viewing. But unfortunately, that is not the case anymore.”


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Hallmark notified Zola on Thursday that four of its ads would be removed.

When an ad buyer representing Zola asked the channel for an explanation, Hallmark in an email replied, “We are not allowed to accept creatives that are deemed controversial.”

“The decision not to air overt public displays of affection in our sponsored advertisement, regardless of the participants, is in line with our current policy, which includes not featuring political advertisements, offensive language, R-rated movie content and many other categories,” a spokesperson for the Hallmark Channel told the Times on Friday.

Mike Chi, Zola’s chief marketing officer, said that “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.”

Continuing, he added, “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.”

The One Million Moms petition also targeted comments made by Michelle Vicary, vice president of programming at the channel, in a recent interview with The Wrap. Vicary said that the channel is exploring developing LGBTQ movies.


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“We are continuing to expand our diversity,” she told The Wrap. “We are looking at pitches for LGBT movies.”

“We look at a variety of different things, so we’re always looking for the best stories that we think will resonate in the best way,” confirmed Crown Media Family Networks CEO Bill Abbott. “And so we’re open to really any type of movie of any type of relationship in any space.”

Conservative website LifeSite published a separate petition that it says has more than 25,000 signatures demanding the channel avoid LGBTQ content in their Christmas movies to “protect children’s innocence this Christmas.”


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The post Hallmark Channel Caves To Angry Conservatives, Drops Zola Ads Featuring Lesbian Brides appeared first on The Gaily Grind.

https://thegailygrind.com/2019/12/14/hallmark-channel-caves-to-angry-conservatives-drops-zola-ads-featuring-lesbian-brides/

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