Thousand upon thousands of Americans are speaking out and threatening to boycott Hallmark after the Hallmark Channel pulled ads for the ZOLA wedding-planning website that featured two brides kissing at the altar because of pressure from an anti-lgbt conservative hate group.
The channel pulled the ads after One Million Moms, a small ultra conservative group that is a part of the anti-LGBT hate group American Family Association, published a petition online that had close to 25,000 signatures as of Friday. Zola was then notified this week that four of their six ads would not air.
Hallmark told the New York Times that they do not allow ads “that are deemed controversial” and that the women showing “public displays of affection” violated the channel’s policies, even though commercials showing a bride and groom kissing are still allowed to run on the channel.
“The decision not to air overt public displays of affection in our sponsored advertisement, regardless of the participants, is in line with our current policy, which includes not featuring political advertisements, offensive language, R-rated movie content and many other categories,” a Hallmark Channel spokesman told the Times.
“The debate surrounding these commercials on all sides was distracting from the purpose of our network, which is to provide entertainment value,” said a statement provided by Molly Biwer, senior vice president for public affairs and communications at Hallmark. “The Hallmark brand is never going to be divisive. We don’t want to generate controversy, we’ve tried very hard to stay out of it. … We just felt it was in the best interest of the brand to pull them and not continue to generate controversy.”
Zola said it disagrees with Hallmark’s decision and said it will no longer run ads on the channel. “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,” said Zola’s chief marketing officer Mike Chi.
Public reaction to Hallmark pulling the same-sex wedding ad has been intense with many taking to social media to blast Hallmark for bowing to One Million Moms and turning its backs on the LGBT community.
SNL addressed the controversy head-on during last night’s Weekend Update and summed it up best.
“The group One Million Moms is boycotting the Hallmark Channel for airing a commercial featuring a same-sex couple getting married and kissing,” co-anchor Michael Che said. “Ladies relax, if your kid is watching the Hallmark Channel, he already gay as hell.”