The Hallmark Channel is learning the swift power of the Internet after facing not one, but TWO boycotts following the airing of a Zola.com ad featuring a same-sex couple. First, Hallmark's parent company Crown Media Family Networks removed ads from online wedding planning company Zola that included a same-sex wedding.
The move came the One Million Moms group targeted the network with a "remove the ads and avoid airing other content showing same-sex couples or else" boycott. The Hallmark Channel complied. Initially, the network said it decided to pull the commercials because the "debate surrounding these commercials on all sides was distracting from the purpose of our network, which is to provide entertainment value."
But then came the backlash. Zola.com pulled all their advertising across Hallmark platforms and the Internet got involved, with calls for a boycott exploding. Among those commenting, Ellen DeGeneres and Hilarie Burton Morgan...as well as plenty of "regular folk." Now? The channel is apologizing.
"I am sorry for the hurt and disappointment this has caused," Hallmark Channel CEO Mike Perry says in a statement. "We will be reaching out to Zola to reestablish our partnership and reinstate the commercials… We will continue to look for ways to be more inclusive & celebrate our differences."
Ironically, all the conflamma came on the heels of Abbott's recent comments saying he was open to including more diversity in programming. When asked about the lack of LGBTQ-friendly films, he noted, "We’re open to really any type of movie of any type of relationship in any space." That's apparently in contrast to the experience of Burton, who shared that when she insisted on an LGBTQ and more racially diverse casting, she was let go. Read more about that HERE.