Earlier this month, popular wedding planning site Zola.com released a series of advertisements on the Hallmark Channel. One of the ads featured two women getting married. Per usual, religious fanatics came out of the woodwork and caused a commotion, claiming that the advertisement “Hurt family values.” The biggest and loudest voice saying this was One Million Moms (who actually only has 4,324 Twitter followers, so if we assume that they actually have 1 million members, that means that only .43% of them are willing to make that known publically…although, it’s been constantly proven time and time again that One Million Moms actually has nowhere near 1 million members.)
Hallmark ended up pulling the ads from their channel and quickly discovered that the commotion caused by inclusive people is much louder than that of One Million Moms. GLAAD immediately put together their own petition, and the demands to bring the commercial back began flooding in. The controversy became a hot topic and was even mentioned on SNL.
Before long, Hallmark realized they had made a massive mistake, and now, Deadline reports that they have reversed their decision and are bringing the ads back. Deadline released the full statement from Hallmark CEO, Mike Perry:
“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 detracts for this purpose is not who we are. As the CEO of Hallmark, I am sorry 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. It is never Hallmark’s intention to be divisive or generate controversy. We are an inclusive company and have a track record to prove it. We have LGBTQ greeting cards and feature LGBTQ couples in commercials. We have been recognized as one of the Human Rights Campaigns Best Places to Work, and as one of Forbes America’s Best Employers for Diversity. We have been a progressive pioneer on television for decades – telling wide-ranging stories that elevate the human spirit such as August Wilson’s The Piano Lesson and Colm Tóibín’s The Blackwater Lightship, both of which highlight the importance of tolerance and understanding.
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.
Across our brand, we will continue to look for ways to be more inclusive and celebrate our differences.”
It seems that when people come together, equality can win.