A boycott of the Hallmark Channel has been launched by advocacy group One Million Moms after the network reversed their decision surrounding same-sex wedding commercials from wedding planning website Zola.

The Hallmark Channel and its parent company Crown Media reversed their decision to remove same-sex marriage commercials from wedding planning website Zola on December 16th.

Hallmark Cards president and CEO Mike Perry issued the following statement:

“Earlier this week, a decision was made at Crown Media Family Networks to remove commercials featuring a same-sex couple.

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 distracts from this purpose is not who we are.

We are truly sorry for the hurt and disappointment this has caused.”

Along with the statement they noted they would “be working with GLAAD to better represent the LGBTQ community across our portfolio of brands. The Hallmark Channel will be reaching out to Zola to reestablish our partnership and reinstate the commercials.”

Crown Media and Hallmark had previously removed the Zola commercials featuring same-sex couples from their network.

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Hallmark’s Senior Vice President for Public Affairs and Communications Molly Biwer explained, “The debate surrounding these commercials on all sides was distracting from the purpose of our network, which is to provide entertainment value.”

Biwer told the AP, “The Hallmark brand is never going to be divisive. We don’t want to generate controversy, we’ve tried very hard to stay out of it … we just felt it was in the best interest of the brand to pull them and not continue to generate controversy.”

Biwer also noted that Hallmark had been contacted by advocacy group One Million Moms, part of the American Family Association, regarding the Zola commercial. She noted they specifically contacted Crown Media’s CEO Bill Abbot.

One Million Moms reported on their website that they had spoken with Abbot and confirmed that Hallmark had pulled the Zola commercial. In fact their statement details that Abbot “reported the advertisement aired in error.”

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After Hallmark’s decision to originally pull the ads became public, it came under criticism from talk show host Ellen DeGeneres.

William Shatner would also criticize Hallmark’s original decision.

As did Roseanne’s Sandra Bernhard.

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Zola’s Chief Marketing Officer Mike Chi would tell The Hollywood Reporter, “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.”

“Hallmark approved a commercial where a heterosexual couple kissed,” said Chi.

Chi then stated that Zola would no longer be advertising with Hallmark, “All kisses, couples and marriages are equal celebrations of love and we will no longer be advertising on Hallmark.”

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GLAAD’s President and CEO Sarah Kate Ellis told The Hollywood Reporter, “The Hallmark Channel’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.”

Ellis added:

“As so many other TV and cable networks showcase, LGBTQ families are part of family programming. Advertisers on The Hallmark Channel should see this news and question whether they want to be associated with a network that chooses to bow to fringe anti-LGBTQ activist groups, which solely exist to harm LGBTQ families.”

Following the criticism of their original decision, Hallmark would reverse course with the above statement from President and CEO Mike Perry.

Biwer would also elaborate on the reversal, “Crown Media had been in agony over the hurt that this had caused. Hallmark has an unwavering commitment to diversity and inclusion.”

She added that the reversal “truly reflects who we are as a company. We celebrate all families.”

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GLAAD’s Ellis responded to the reversal noting Hallmark’s “decision to correct its mistake sends an important message to LGBTQ people and represents a major loss for fringe organizations like One Million Moms, whose sole purpose is to hurt families like mine.”

Zola’s Mike Chi also responded to the reversal, “We are humbled by everyone who showed support not only for Zola, but for all LGBTQ couples and families who express their love on their wedding day, and every day.”

One Million Moms responded to the reversal telling Life Site News:

“This is an enormous mistake that will cause many viewers to change the channel. We continue to urge the Hallmark Channel to return to the family-friendly content it has always been known for. The issue of same-sex relationships should be left for families to talk through together according to their faith and personal beliefs, rather than be forced to address this complex matter during family movies.”

They also launched a boycott of the Hallmark Channel.

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In their call for boycotting Hallmark they state:

“Family entertainment is not the outlet in which to be politically correct by forcing tolerance and acceptance of homosexuality – a sinful lifestyle that Scripture clearly deems as wrong. You can read so in Romans 1:18-32.

They add:

The culture war, better yet the war for the soul of man, is definitely heating up. 1MM will keep fighting because souls are at stake. This LGBTQ spirit is the same spirit we read about in the Bible that confronted Lot. It’s relentless but the good news is we serve the God who is King of kings, Lord of lords, and will not be mocked. Hallmark, Zola, etc. and all that make up those companies will ALL bow to the Lord.

It concludes:

“One Million Moms is asking once again for 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.”

What do you make of this boycott against the Hallmark Channel? Will you be participating?

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