The Hallmark Channel has reinstated a few wedding ads that feature same-sex couples after complaints from gay rights groups upset that the company had previously pulled the ads.
In a statement, Hallmark apologized for any “hurt and disappointment” their earlier decision to yank the ads may have caused the gay community.
“The Crown Media team has been agonizing over this decision as we’ve seen the hurt it has unintentionally caused," Hallmark Cards CEO Mike Perry said Sunday. “Said simply, they believe this was the wrong decision.”
“We are truly sorry for the hurt and disappointment this has caused,” he concluded.
Hallmark had reportedly pulled four of six ads submitted for airing on their channel by Zola, a wedding planning site, after conservative group One Million Moms complained that the ads featured a lesbian couple exchanging vows at an altar before sharing a passionate kiss. The group claimed Perry had told them over the phone that the ad “aired in error” and ensured that the “Hallmark Channel will continue to be a safe and family-friendly network."
Naturally, that decision fired up gay rights groups, along with several high-profile celebrities including talk show host Ellen DeGeneres, who vowed to boycott Hallmark until the company reinstated the ads (whose absence they probably would never have noticed). The channel, known for airing a slew of holiday movies, quickly reversed their stance and promising to continue “working with GLAAD to better represent the LGBTQ community.”
“Across our brand, we will continue to look for ways to be more inclusive and celebrate our differences,” Perry said in his statement.
ABC News reports that Molly Biwer, senior vice president for public affairs at Hallmark, said in an interview Sunday night that “Crown Media had been in agony over the hurt that this had caused. Hallmark has an unwavering commitment to diversity and inclusion.”
She added that the reversal, and not the original decision, “truly reflects who we are as a company. We celebrate all families.”