Hallmark Channel’s historical past of exclusion has many doubting its dedication to that includes LGBTQ storylines in its in style vacation films

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Hallmark Channel's history of exclusion has many doubting its commitment to featuring LGBTQ storylines in its popular holiday movies

revealed an advance take a look at this yr’s lineup of 40 vacation movies — together with titles like Ship by Christmas, On the 12th Date of Christmas and Christmas Physician — it obtained a lump of coal in return. Social media instantly famous that not one of the movies function LGBTQ characters or storylines and known as the channel out on Twitter.” data-reactid=”16″>Hallmark Channel’s annual assortment of Christmas films starring actors like Danica McKellar and Candace Cameron Bure are designed to unfold tidings and pleasure. However when the community revealed an advance take a look at this yr’s lineup of 40 vacation movies — together with titles like Ship by Christmas, On the 12th Date of Christmas and Christmas Physician — it obtained a lump of coal in return. Social media instantly famous that not one of the movies function LGBTQ characters or storylines and known as the channel out on Twitter.

In an announcement supplied to Yahoo Leisure on Thursday, George Zaralidis, vp of community program publicity at Crown Media Household Networks, which owns the Hallmark Channel, wrote:

“Yesterday we were excited to announce 18 of our 40 holiday movies. 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.”

In a separate assertion supplied to NBC Information, Zaralidis burdened that the channel is in “active negotiations” to function extra LGBTQ content material in its Christmas choices and promised to “announce more details when we can.” Not surprisingly, the community’s feedback have produced a wide range of reactions, starting from gratitude to anger to “prove it.”” data-reactid=”25″>In a separate assertion supplied to NBC Information, Zaralidis burdened that the channel is in “active negotiations” to function extra LGBTQ content material in its Christmas choices and promised to “announce more details when we can.” Not surprisingly, the community’s feedback have produced a wide range of reactions, starting from gratitude to anger to “prove it.”

the Worldwide Enterprise Occasions spoke with then-Hallmark CEO William “Bill” Abbott concerning the predominantly white casts featured in its programming. “I feel like this is an industrywide problem,” Abbott remarked on the time. “Others have made a little more progress than we have made, granted, but, at the same time … as a brand and as an organization, we have a great track record of doing the right thing, and I think that you will see significant change over the years as we continue to evolve our content.”” data-reactid=”30″>Hallmark’s announcement has additionally shined a brand new mild on the community’s checkered historical past with range, notably in regard to its in style Christmas movies. In 2017, the Worldwide Enterprise Occasions spoke with then-Hallmark CEO William “Bill” Abbott concerning the predominantly white casts featured in its programming. “I feel like this is an industrywide problem,” Abbott remarked on the time. “Others have made a little more progress than we have made, granted, but, at the same time … as a brand and as an organization, we have a great track record of doing the right thing, and I think that you will see significant change over the years as we continue to evolve our content.”

to a three-film deal that the community struck with Filipina-American creator Melissa de la Cruz in 2016 for instance of its makes an attempt at range. These movies included Christmas in Angel Falls and Angel Falls: A Novel Vacation, which aired in 2016 and 2019, respectively. In each circumstances, the main actors had been white.” data-reactid=”31″>The CEO pointed to a three-film deal that the community struck with Filipina-American creator Melissa de la Cruz in 2016 for instance of its makes an attempt at range. These movies included Christmas in Angel Falls and Angel Falls: A Novel Vacation, which aired in 2016 and 2019, respectively. In each circumstances, the main actors had been white.

the lead of such competing networks as Lifetime in diversifying its content material. “I think that generalization isn’t fair, either, that we just have Christmas with white leads,” he remarked on the Hollywood Reporter podcast, TV’s Prime 5. “In terms of broadening out the demographic, it’s something we’re always thinking about, always considering, and we’ll continue to make the movies where the best scripts are delivered to us and what we think have the most potential.”” data-reactid=”32″>Abbott spoke to the press once more final yr as Hallmark did not observe the lead of such competing networks as Lifetime in diversifying its content material. “I think that generalization isn’t fair, either, that we just have Christmas with white leads,” he remarked on the Hollywood Reporter podcast, TV’s Prime 5. “In terms of broadening out the demographic, it’s something we’re always thinking about, always considering, and we’ll continue to make the movies where the best scripts are delivered to us and what we think have the most potential.”

A Christmas Miracle, starring Tamera Mowry-Housley, and A Household Christmas Reward, that includes Holly Robinson Peete. (Each actresses will likely be returning to the Hallmark vacation lineup this yr as effectively: Mowry-Housley is headlining Christmas Carnival, whereas Peete stars in Christmas Physician.)” data-reactid=”35″>Hallmark’s 2019 crop of Christmas films did function 4 movies with lead actors of shade, together with A Christmas Miracle, starring Tamera Mowry-Housley, and A Household Christmas Reward, that includes Holly Robinson Peete. (Each actresses will likely be returning to the Hallmark vacation lineup this yr as effectively: Mowry-Housley is headlining Christmas Carnival, whereas Peete stars in Christmas Physician.)

Vacation Date and Double Vacation — which obtained largely detrimental evaluations and raised eyebrows for leaving “Hanukkah” out of the titles.” data-reactid=”36″>Additionally final yr, Hallmark made its first two Hanukkah films — Vacation Date and Double Vacation — which obtained largely detrimental evaluations and raised eyebrows for leaving “Hanukkah” out of the titles.

Abbott advised the Hollywood Reporter. “This is kind of our first foray into this type of double holiday mix with a lot of Hanukkah in both movies [and] a lot of the celebration of how those nights are celebrated and experienced by those who practice the religion.”” data-reactid=”41″>“I think Christmas has become almost a secular type of holiday more than Hanukkah, which really does have more of a religious feel,” Abbott advised the Hollywood Reporter. “This is kind of our first foray into this type of double holiday mix with a lot of Hanukkah in both movies [and] a lot of the celebration of how those nights are celebrated and experienced by those who practice the religion.”

Talking with the Wrap on the time, Crown Media Household Networks’ government vp of programming, Michelle Vicary, echoed a few of the identical sentiments that Zaralidis included in his current assertion: “We are continuing to expand our diversity. We are looking at pitches for LGBTQ movies … and we are looking to expand and represent the United States as a whole.”” data-reactid=”42″>The shortage of any LGBTQ illustration was additionally raised in 2019, and Hallmark executives basically punted the query to this yr. Talking with the Wrap on the time, Crown Media Household Networks’ government vp of programming, Michelle Vicary, echoed a few of the identical sentiments that Zaralidis included in his current assertion: “We are continuing to expand our diversity. We are looking at pitches for LGBTQ movies … and we are looking to expand and represent the United States as a whole.”

Abbott departed Crown Media Household Networks after a December 2019 incident wherein the Hallmark Channel bowed to stress from conservative teams and pulled an commercial from the marriage firm Zola that depicted a lesbian couple getting married. That call was broadly denounced on social media by distinguished LGBTQ voices like Ellen DeGeneres, which persuaded the community to reverse course and broadcast the industrial. “The Crown Media team has been agonizing over this decision as we’ve seen the hurt it has unintentionally caused,” Mike Perry, president and chief government of Hallmark Playing cards Inc., stated in an announcement. “Said simply, they believe this was the wrong decision.”” data-reactid=”43″>The community’s blended messaging on the difficulty has taken its toll. Earlier this yr, Abbott departed Crown Media Household Networks after a December 2019 incident wherein the Hallmark Channel bowed to stress from conservative teams and pulled an commercial from the marriage firm Zola that depicted a lesbian couple getting married. That call was broadly denounced on social media by distinguished LGBTQ voices like Ellen DeGeneres, which persuaded the community to reverse course and broadcast the industrial. “The Crown Media team has been agonizing over this decision as we’ve seen the hurt it has unintentionally caused,” Mike Perry, president and chief government of Hallmark Playing cards Inc., stated in an announcement. “Said simply, they believe this was the wrong decision.”

which criticized the community for its dealing with of the Zola industrial, is reportedly reserving any remark till the complete lineup is launched. In different phrases, there’s nonetheless an opportunity that Hallmark may make this vacation season’s film choices merry and vivid … for everybody.” data-reactid=”46″>As Zaralidis suggests in his assertion to Yahoo Leisure, Hallmark has solely teased 18 of its deliberate 40 Christmas movies for the 2020-2021 season, and bulletins of LGBTQ characters and storylines may nonetheless be forthcoming. (Manufacturing on various the movies has additionally been delayed because of the coronavirus pandemic.) GLAAD, which criticized the community for its dealing with of the Zola industrial, is reportedly reserving any remark till the complete lineup is launched. In different phrases, there’s nonetheless an opportunity that Hallmark may make this vacation season’s film choices merry and vivid … for everybody.


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