The Hallmark Channel is taking back its decision to pull out commercials featuring same-sex couples getting married. The move follows intense public outcry against the network for removing the advertisements. Now, Hallmark is issuing an apology.
Hallmark’s parent company Crown Media Family Networks came under fire for the discriminating move. #BoycottHallmark became the trending hashtag on social media platforms online as audiences and advertisers called on to boycott the television channel.
The ads in question were from Zola, an online wedding planning company. Ads depicted same-sex couples being married.
President and CEO of Hallmark Mike Perry issued a statement on Sunday acknowledging the company’s “wrong decision” and announced its desire to reinstate the commercials.
“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,” the exec told CNN Business.
“Our mission is rooted in helping all people connect, celebrate traditions, and be inspired to capture meaningful moments in their lives. Anything that detracts for this purpose is not who we are,” he added. “As the CEO of Hallmark, I am sorry for the hurt and disappointment this has caused.”
Hallmark removed the Zola commercials after it was urged by conservative group One Million Moms. It demanded that the network take down the ads and ban content that showed same-sex couples.
Zola’s Chief Marketing Officer Mike Chi told CNN Business:
“We were deeply troubled when Hallmark rejected our commercials for featuring a lesbian couple celebrating their marriage, and are relieved to see that decision was reversed.”