The CEO of Hallmark has apologised for its decision to withdraw a television ad featuring a same-sex couple.
After coming under fire from the conservative group ‘One Million Moms’, the company’s cable network pulled an advertisement for wedding planning company Zola which featured a same-sex female couple.
Following the initial move from Hallmark, many criticised the company calling for a boycott.
Hallmark is now saying they will reinstate the ad and attempt to reestablish their partnership with Zola, who said they would stop advertising with the channel.
Hallmark will 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. pic.twitter.com/p17nJpnjEB
— Hallmark (@Hallmark) December 16, 2019
“We are truly sorry for the hurt and disappointment this has caused,” Hallmark’s president and chief executive Mike Perry said.
“Our mission is rooted in helping all people connect, celebrate traditions, and be inspired to capture meaningful moments in their lives.
“Anything that detracts from this purpose is not who we are. We are truly sorry for the hurt and disappointment this has caused.”
Perry stressed that the company “is and always has been committed to diversity and inclusion – both in our workplace as well as the products and experiences we create.”
Hallmark said it would “be working with [advocacy group] Glaad to better represent the LGBTQ community across our portfolio of brands.”
The original decision to pull the advertisement led to widespread backlash across social media. Ellen DeGeneres and Pete Buttigieg were among those who criticised the decision.
— Ellen DeGeneres (@TheEllenShow) December 15, 2019
Buttigieg tweeted: “Families are built on love-no matter what they look like.
“Being “family-friendly means honouring love, not censoring difference. This truth will be more important than ever as we rebuild our nation into a place defined by belonging, not exclusion.”
Families are built on love—no matter what they look like.
Being “family friendly” means honoring love, not censoring difference. This truth will be more important than ever as we rebuild our nation into a place defined by belonging, not by exclusion. https://t.co/pl5B1BtIdf
— Pete Buttigieg (@PeteButtigieg) December 15, 2019
LGBT+ advocacy group GLAAD condemned Hallmark’s original decision and launched the #BoycottHallmarkChannel. GLAAD tweeted that cutting the Zola ad 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.”
GLAAD has taken note of Hallmark’s move to reverse its earlier decision saying it “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,” GLAAD President Sarah Kate Ellis said in a statement.
© 2019 GCN (Gay Community News). All rights reserved.
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