Hallmark Reverses Decision on Same-Sex Wedding Ad

LGBTQ+ given fair representation after public outcry



Same-sex wedding ad by Zola aired on the Hallmark channel creating a lot of online controversy.

Amaya Turner, Staff Writer

The message that “love is love” is a nice thing to say to raise hope for equality, but it does not always incite action.

On Dec. 2, six ads from the wedding planning website Zola aired on the Hallmark Channel. In all the ads, the couple getting married wondered how their wedding could have been better if they’d used Zola. Most of these ads featured same-sex female couples, along with heterosexual couples. 

A few days after the same-sex couple ad aired, Hallmark pulled its same-sex couple ads, but then it decided to just pull all of the Zola ads. Hallmark said that their initial decision to pull the ads was because “the channel did not accept ads ‘that are deemed controversial,'” according to a Dec 13, 2019 New York Times article.

It is heartbreaking that in 2019, same-sex couples still need to watch people storm on social media and complain about how inappropriate it is. 

— Amaya Turner

The controversy began with a conservative group called One Million Moms, which is a division of the American Family Association. One Million Moms was a huge group fighting for the removal of the same-sex ads.

One person commented on the One Million Moms message board, Why would you show a lesbian wedding commercial on the Hallmark Channel? Hallmark movies are family friendly, and you ruined it with the commercial. 

After an outcry on Twitter against Hallmark’s decision, led by the LGBTQ+ community, their allies, and celebrities such as Ellen DeGeneres, Hallmark reversed their decision.

Ellen DeGeneres tweeted out to Hallmark, saying only “Isn’t it almost 2020?… what are you thinking? Please explain. We’re all ears.” Her bold questioning was met with much acclaim as #boycotthallmark and #BoycottHallmarkChannel trended, mostly from the outrage of the LGBTQ+ community and their allies.  

When asked to explain why the ads had been rejected, a New York Times article stated that an employee of Hallmark’s parent company felt that “the women’s public displays of affection violated the channel’s policies, but he declined to comment on why a nearly identical ad featuring a bride and groom kissing was not rejected. 

Isn’t it curious how the heterosexual couple didn’t raise any problems?  

Hallmark’s decision to pull the same-sex ad is an example of how some people try to justify inequality, and it can been seen as a homophobic move against LGBTQ+ community. There was nothing dark or inappropriate in the ad; it was just two people getting married. Except in some eyes, two brides can’t be the people getting married. They have to be a woman and a man getting married. Two lesbians getting married is not okay.

It is heartbreaking that in 2019, same-sex couples still need to watch people storm on social media and complain about how inappropriate it is. Why can’t love be love?

Isn’t all love the same? 

On Dec 15, Hallmark changed their mind and they have decided to air the ads after all.  It appears the LGBTQ+ outcry was successful, as Hallmark is once again planning to air the commercials and even made an official apology statement by Mike Perry, President and CEO, Hallmark Cards, Inc

Perry said, “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 from this purpose is not who we are. We are truly sorry for the hurt and disappointment this has caused.” 

It appears that the power of the people earned a small victory today. It is a wonderful turn of events, and it gives hope to people across the country.