It seems like only yesterday that we were talking about how the Hallmark Channel was throwing themselves into a social media firestorm by first accepting and then rejecting an advertisement from wedding planning company Zola featuring the nuptials of two brides. Oh, that’s right… it was yesterday. Well, that decision lasted less than a day. Faced with a growing backlash from Hollywood and on social media, the network turned around and said they would be accepting the advertisement(s) after all. (CBS News)
The Hallmark Channel on Sunday moved to reinstate ads featuring a same-sex couple that had been removed from the cable network. The decision came after considerable backlash over the initial decision to stop airing the ads from the wedding-planning company Zola.
“The Crown Media team has been agonizing over this decision as we’ve seen the hurt it has unintentionally caused,” Hallmark CEO Mike Perry said in a statement Sunday night. “Said simply, they believe this was the wrong decision.”…
It’s unclear whether Zola will continue airing ads on The Hallmark Channel, but they noted they are “relieved” by these recent updates.
Some of the LGBT heavyweights from Hollywood were piling on, and as I predicted yesterday, cancel culture was on full display. The hashtag #BoycottHallmarkChannel was quickly trending on Twitter.
— Ellen DeGeneres (@TheEllenShow) December 15, 2019
The Hallmark Channel was all apologies on social media.
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
The Hallmark Channel has managed to take what should have been a routine business decision (no matter which way they went) and turn it into the worst possible outcome. The real question here is how they could possibly have failed to see this coming, given the ongoing LGBT drama engulfing social media debates. If their policy was to not accept any gay-themed advertising, they shouldn’t have taken the ad in the first place and stuck to their guns, accepting the fact that they would be boycotted from the left. If they preferred to risk the wrath of conservatives, they could have similarly had a statement prepared about “doing business with any interested parties” or something to that effect.
Now they simply look like spineless opportunists. They’ve elevated the profile of One Million Moms and pretty much ensured that any conservative (and presumably straight) viewers will be left with a sour taste in their mouths. But while Zola and the LGBT community may accept their apology, many on the left are unlikely to forget that the Hallmark Channel’s first impulse was to pull the ad. (The actual purpose of these boycotts isn’t to get an apology or change behavior. It’s to punish insufficiently woke people and generate headlines.)
Smooth move, Hallmark Channel. Now we wait to see if they go ahead with a Christmas movie featuring an LGBT family as has been discussed. Stand by for round three in the culture wars.