Following backlash from LGBT advocates, the Hallmark channel apologized on Sunday for removing ads featuring a lesbian marriage and announced they were reinstating the commercials.
Hallmark on Thursday removed ads created by wedding services company Zola that feature a lesbian couple kissing. The ads had garnered opposition from an organization called One Million Moms, which advocates for traditional morality in public media and describes itself as a group “fed up with the filth many segments of our society, especially the entertainment media, are throwing at our children.”
Hallmark initially pulled the ads with a lesbian couple, telling Zola representatives, “We are not allowed to accept creatives that are deemed controversial.” One Million Moms claimed Hallmark executive Bill Abbot confirmed to the group that the ads were “aired in error.”
However, LGBT advocates lambasted the decision.
“Isn’t it almost 2020? @hallmarkchannel, @billabbottHC… what are you thinking? Please explain,” wrote talk show host Ellen Degeneres on Twitter.
“Families are built on love—no matter what they look like,” commented South Bend, Ind. Mayor Pete Buttigieg. “Being ‘family friendly’ means honoring love, not censoring difference.”
Hallmark apologized for removing the ads on Sunday.
“The Crown Media team has been agonizing over this decision as we’ve seen the hurt it has unintentionally caused,” said Hallmark Cards CEO Mike Perry. “We are truly sorry for the hurt and disappointment this has caused.”
The company said it would work in conjunction with the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD), a prominent LGBT advocacy group, to “better represent the LGBTQ community across our portfolio of brands.”