WHAT’S BEING CLAIMED:
Hallmark Channel removed four of the wedding website Zola’s ads from their network that included same-sex couples kissing saying that such displays of affection violate their policies.
• The decision comes following complaints lodged by conservative group One Million Moms, who said such content goes against conservative values important for its primary audience.
• Although the ads showing same-sex weddings were flagged down, two other Zola ads that didn’t have lesbian couples continued to be aired.
The wedding website Zola decided on Saturday that they will no longer feature their ads on the Hallmark Channel after they were told by the network that four of their six commercials that showed a lesbian couple kissing each other were pulled out.
Hallmark’s decision came after conservative group One Million Moms, a division of the American Family Association whose mission is to ‘fight against indecency’, pushed the network to stop airing advertisements showing same-sex couples, otherwise, they will be boycotted.
The New York Times reports that a Hallmark representative said that the public displays of affection of the lesbian couple in the commercial violate the policies of the network. However, only the ads with same-sex couples were cut off, while the two others including a heterosexual couple kissing at the altar continued to be advertised.
“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,” Zola’s chief marketing officer, Mike Chi said.
A spokesperson for Hallmark’s parent company also told the Times that it was Crown Media Family Networks that gave the decision to pull the ads.
“The debate surrounding these commercials on all sides was distracting from the purpose of our network, which is to provide entertainment value,” wrote the spokesperson in an email to CNBC.
In their original complaint to Hallmark, One Million Moms asked Crown Media Family Networks CEO Bill Abbott to reconsider airing LGBT movies as well as same-sex couple adverts in the Hallmark Channel.
“Such content goes against Christian and conservative values that are important to your primary audience. You will lose viewers if you cave to the LGBT agenda.”
The cable network’s decision sparked outrage from some angry social media users who have branded Hallmark as homophobic. Tweets that went viral on Sunday included hashtags like #boycotthallmark and #BoycottHallmarkChannel.