Hallmark will include LGBTQ storylines in its Christmas movies in 2020 and 2021, a representative said according to NBC News.
Last December, Hallmark Channel faces stiff pressure from media outlets The Wrap and The Hollywood Reporter who called out Hallmark for what they call a lack of diversity and LGBT representation. In 2019, Hallmark and Lifetime combined to have 70 new holiday movies, but none of those films feature an LGBT character as the lead.
Now the network has caved to the mob with the announcement yesterday that the channel’s famous “Countdown to Christmas” and “Miracles of Christmas” programming will include LGBTQ characters and actors.
George Zaralidis, the vice president of network program publicity at Hallmark’s parent company, Crown Media Family Networks, told NBC:
“Diversity and inclusion is a top priority for us and we look forward to making some exciting programming announcements in the coming months, including announcements about projects featuring LGBTQ storylines, characters, and actors. We are committed to creating a Hallmark experience where everyone feels welcome.”
The controversy started when Hallmark Channel initially rejected an ad from online-weddings firm Zola which showed two women getting married pondering how their wedding might have improved with the use of Zola’s services. Mounting political pressure by progressives organizations put the company in the position to draw a line in the sand against its own audience.
Hallmark’s appeal is strongest in the Midwest and the South where social conservatives have a political stronghold. Not only do these viewers favor traditional family households, but they oppose homosexuality and negative portrayals of religion.
Hallmark’s decision to promote LGBT storylines with the rest of Hollywood will put them at conflict with their audience, which is exactly what progressive critics wanted in the first place, bring down one of the last havens for their Trump-supporting audience.