The Hallmark Channel has backtracked and apologised for pulling ads featured a same-sex wedding.
The US broadcaster pulled four TV ads for wedding planning company Zola that showed a same-sex couple kissing at their wedding, deeming them “controversial”.
The Hallmark Channel removed the ads after petitions from homophobic groups including One Million Moms, prompting outrage.
Hallmark Cards president and CEO Mike Perry admitted removing the ads was “the wrong decision” and apologised “for the hurt and disappointment this has caused.”
“Hallmark is, and always has been, committed to diversity and inclusion – both in our workplace as well as the products and experiences we create,” Perry said.
He said the company will reach out to Zola “to reestablish our partnership and reinstate the commercials.”
GLAAD president and CEO Sarah Kate Ellis praised the company for the reversal.
“The Hallmark Channel’s decision to correct its mistake sends an important message to LGBTQ people,” Ellisa said.
“[It also] represents a major loss for fringe organizations, like One Million Moms, whose sole purpose is to hurt families like mine.
“LGBTQ people are, and will continue to be, a part of advertisements and family programming. That will never change.”
Hallmark advertiser pulled all ads in protest
Hallmark continued to air ads from Zola that only featured heterosexual couples. However, Zola later pulled all of its ads from the network in protest.
“The only difference between the commercials [was] a lesbian couple kissing,” said Mike Chi, chief marketing officer of Zola.
“Hallmark approved a commercial where a heterosexual couple kissed.
“All kisses, couples and marriages are equal celebrations of love… We will no longer be advertising on Hallmark.”
LGBTIQ celebrities also panned the Hallmark Channel’s initial decision to pull the ads.
Queer Eye‘s Antoni Porowski wrote on Twitter, “Love is l… oh wait not at @hallmarkchannel apparently.”
Ellen DeGeneres tweeted, “Isn’t it almost 2020? What are you thinking? Please explain. We’re all ears.”
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