This weekend, there’s a controversy brewing over in the world of Hallmark Channel, and it’s all due to a wedding ad. Or, to be specific, it’s due to the network pulling Zola wedding ads featuring same-sex couples.
The story first began with conservative groups such as One Million Moms protesting the ads, proclaiming them to be against what they believe the network’s audience should want. The criticism then prompted the network to make their decision, and later on, issuing the following statement via The Hollywood Reporter:
Crown Media Family Networks made the decision to pull the commercials. The debate surrounding these commercials on all sides was distracting from the purpose of our network, which is to provide entertainment value.
This is a strange statement in a lot of ways to make, given that in pulling the ads, the network has kick-started so much more controversy than there was previously. They are now finding themselves under fire from many within the LGBTQ community, and that includes those calling for some sort of boycott of the network’s programming. (Christmas is Hallmark’s peak season, where they run a wide array of original movies every year featuring a number of different performers. Most of them are reasonably lighthearted, but there have been criticisms about the diversity of the lead characters that are present in most of them.)
There are a number of different responses pouring in already to the network’s Zola move, but we have to say that fewer are better than the one by Netflix — basically, one that includes some of their own holiday titles featuring lesbian couples. It’s both a clapback and a reminder that they have inclusive programming. In that sense, isn’t this post a winner two times over? We still think that this is just the beginning of the backlash that is coming — Zola has already decided to remove all of their ads from the network after their decision, and we imagine that this will spark attention from some other advertisers, as well.
Here’s what Mike Chi, Zola’s chief marketing officer, told the aforementioned website:
“The only difference between the commercials that were flagged and the ones that were approved was that the commercials that did not meet Hallmark’s standards included a lesbian couple kissing. 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.”
What do you think about the original controversy by Hallmark, and at the same time the response from Netflix? Be sure to share right now in the comments. (Photo: Netflix.)