The Hallmark Channel has pulled four ads featuring same-sex couples kissing at their weddings following complaints from a division of the right-wing American Family Association.
Later that day, “Boycott Hallmark” was trending on Twitter.
One Million Moms, a subgroup of the American Family Association, complained on its website earlier this week about lesbians “shown kissing.” It called on Hallmark to stop airing commercials with “same-sex couples.” Such content “goes against Christian and conservative values,” the message warned, adding, “You will lose viewers if you cave to the LBGT agenda.”
The site noted in an update that the CEO of Crown Media Family Networks, which owns the Hallmark Channel, confirmed in a phone call that the first ad singled out by the group had been pulled, and that it was aired “in error.” He also assured members that the Hallmark Channel will “continue to be a safe and family friendly network. Praise the Lord,” the statement added.
A Hallmark representative told the Times that the four of six Zola ads were yanked because “public displays of affection” violated the channel’s policies — yet a Zola ad showing a bride and groom kissing was allowed to remain on air.
Zola, which was informed of the decision on Thursday, was told that Hallmark was “not allowed to accept creatives that are deemed controversial.” Zola had previously run ads featuring same-sex couples with no problem, according to its chief marketing officer, Michael Chi.
“The only difference between the commercials that were flagged and the ones that were approved was that the commercials that did not meet Hallmark’s standards included a lesbian couple kissing,” Chi told the Times. “Hallmark approved a commercial where a heterosexual couple kissed. All kisses, couples and marriages are equal celebrations of love and we will no longer be advertising on Hallmark.”
Response on Twitter was harsh, and many users urged a boycott of the Hallmark Channel.