There is a new challenger in the arena of family-friendly entertainment and members of the far left-wing media are already taking notice.
One of the biggest stories from this week that you may have missed was the announcement of actress and Hallmark Channel favorite Candace Cameron Bure leaving The Hallmark Channel and signing a multi-year deal with GAC Family and GAC Media.
According to a statement by Great American Channels (GAC), Bure will have “a prominent executive role at the company to oversee and curate programming for the networks as a whole.” Her production company Candy Rock Entertainment, will be developing and producing original content for its channels as well.
The actress is also expected to “create year-round seasonal celebration content for the networks and play a key role in the company’s annual Great American Christmas franchise.”
“Candace is adored by generations of fans as one of family entertainment’s most cherished and relatable stars,” Bill Abbott, the President and CEO of GAC Media, said in a statement.
“She has helped build this genre into the mainstream success it is today, and I look forward to working together at GAC Media as we further establish our brands as leaders in quality family programming. I am truly honored that she has chosen to be a part of and help curate her special brand of family entertainment here at Great American Channels,” Abbott added.
At face value, this may not seem like a significant story but in reality, Bure’s move to GAC is likely the first domino in a massive culture shift in the world of family-friendly entertainment.
For the last number of years, The Hallmark Channel has been a refuge for traditional family-friendly entertainment in an industry that has become aggressive in its promotion of progressive ideology.
While some criticize the overall cheesiness of the content, Hallmark had grown a strong following among conservative audiences due to its wholesome programming, especially around the Holiday season.
However, that started to change a few years ago when the progressive media started to take notice of Hallmark’s success along with their customer base. Entertainment media outlets such as The Hollywood Reporter began to call out the network for their lack of LGBT representation and diversity in their programming.
Hallmark films had become an alternative for those trying the escape the progressive programming of the major networks and streaming services. Instead of standing behind their audience, Crown Media Family Networks, the parent company of Hallmark sided with the growing mob.
George Zaralidis, the vice president of network programming for Crown Media Family Networks told NBC in 2020, “Diversity and inclusion is a top priority for us and we look forward to making some exciting programming announcements in the coming months, including announcements about projects featuring LGBTQ storylines, characters, and actors.”
He added, “We are committed to creating a Hallmark experience where everyone feels welcome.”
This sentiment would be echoed by the company’s official Twitter account that wrote, “Diversity and inclusion is a top priority for us and we look forward to making more programming announcement in the coming months, with projects featuring LGBTQ storylines, characters, and actors. We are committed to creating a Hallmark experience where everyone feels welcome.”
Suddenly, audiences who were looking for an escape from left wing programming were stuck with another network promising to create more of the same. If Hallmark was going to turn into every other television network in America, then what is the point of watching them? Enter Great American Channels (GAC).
Bill Abbott is the former CEO of Crown Media Family Networks who bought the channel last June through GAC Media LLC. after stepping down from his role at Crown Media in 2020 following the progressive backlash against the network.
Abbott was in charge when Hallmark Channel initially rejected an ad from online weddings firm Zola which showed two women getting married pondering how their wedding might have improved with the use of Zola’s services.
The backlash led to the CEO of GLAAD, Sarah Kate Ellis, weaponizing her lobby against the network making the statement “LGBTQ people are and will continue to be a part of advertisements and family programming and that will never change.”
The fallout of Hallmark caving to the GLAAD lobby caused a revolt within the company and many of their top stars decided to sign elsewhere. After purchasing the GAC brand, Abbott looked to compete with Hallmark by taking their talent and signing them to exclusive deals.
Actress Danica McKellar was the first of many who signed an exclusive deal with GAC to star in and executive produce four new movies through 2023.
Those who followed her included Jen Lilley, Jessica Lowndes, Cameron Mathison, and Debbie Matenopoulos. Those who signed with GAC signed with the intent to write, produce, and even direct their own content.
However, it’s the singing of Candace Cameron Bure who had been a mainstay on the Hallmark Channel for over a decade that has the woke mob bristling.
Laura Bradley, writer for the far-left publication The Daily Beast wrote an article this week attempting to smear the network for its connections to former President Donald Trump. After attacking GAC for having financiers close to the Trump family, the outlet complained that the network was dog-whistling to a conservative base in their branding.
Bradley wrote, “To say that promotional materials for GAC Family are rife with conservative dog whistles would be akin to saying Santa Claus has a sweet tooth. The words ‘traditional values’ and ‘American culture, lifestyle, and heritage,’ for instance, loom very large.”
She continued, “When GAC promises ‘safe’ Christmas content, those of us who don’t fit into that equation know what they mean. The streamer’s films just happen to star white people in almost all lead roles—and in contrast to networks that have (belatedly) tried to embrace inclusivity in their holiday content, there’s not a same-sex couple or non-Christian celebration to be found in GAC’s slate.”
In other words, The Daily Beast, which is an extension of the far left is afraid that another entertainment property could be gaining momentum that isn’t soaking in progressivism. What angered the left about networks like Hallmark did years ago is that the network found success with a large audience that was looking for non-woke entertainment. The far left fears entertainment platforms that they don’t have influence and control over.
Progressives would rather a platform not exist if it doesn’t submit to their will. After getting Hallmark to submit to their pressure, progressives are a lock to do the same with GAC in the coming months. The real question will be, can GAC do what Hallmark refused to do three years ago and take a stand for their own content in the face of LGBTQ attack dogs? Can Bill Abbott stand up to GLAAD in a way that Hallmark refused to do in 2019?
With companies like Disney promising to double down on left-wing progressive content in their programming, the search for genuine family entertainment has increasingly become a difficult one.
Networks like GAC will certainly throw their names into the hat over the coming months as competition to Hallmark, Lifetime, and Disney but the true test of their resolve will be can they weather the storm that progressive organizations will put on them as they continue to grow.
GAC Family and GAC Media are starting to make a serious impact in the world of entertainment, what do you think are their chances of becoming the front runner in family and faith content?