Hallmark Channel Flip Flops It's Way Into PR Nightmare

Earlier in December the Hallmark Channel, known for their family friendly holiday movies, aired a series of commercials from the wedding planning website Zola, with four of them featuring same-sex couples. The ads sparked immediate backlash from a group called One Million Moms started a petition urging Hallmark “please reconsider airing commercials with same-sex couples,” that received around 25,000 signatures.

On Friday Hallmark pulled the same-sex commercials, explaining, “The debate surrounding these commercials on all sides was distracting from the purpose of our network, which is to provide entertainment value,” adding “we just felt it was in the best interest of the brand to pull them and not continue to generate controversy.”

The channel continued to run the Zola commercials that featured the heterosexual couples, but Zola pulled all of their ads. In a statement Mike Chi, Zola’s chief marketing officer stated “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.”

By Saturday "Boycott Hallmark" was trending on Twitter.

Even celebs have getting into the fray, with Ellen DeGeneres tweeting, “Isn’t it almost 2020?@hallmarkchannel... what are you thinking? Please explain. We’re all ears.”

Hallmark Channel is owned by Crown Media. Their President and CEO Mike Perry says, "we are truly sorry for the hurt and disappointment this has caused." The company says that they want to work with GLAAD "to better represent the LGBTQ community".

This has become a PR nightmare, as Christian groups began pushing back Sunday evening continuing the Boycott Hallmark hashtag.

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