Hallmark Cards has decided to reverse an earlier decision to pull television advertisements featuring same-sex couples from the wedding registry and planning website Zola. The company apologized for their previous decision to stop featuring the Zola advertisements.  In a statement, CEO of Hallmark, Mike Perry said cable television’s Hallmark Channel “will be reaching out to Zola to reestablish our partnership and reinstate the commercials.”

What The Controversy Was All About

Wedding planning company Zola partnered with Hallmark Channel to air their ads. Zola submitted six ads to Hallmark. Four of these showed a lesbian couple, that received a backlash from conservative viewers. One Million Moms, a group of the American Family Association, filed a complaint. They said that people feel betrayed because Hallmark Channel “is one of the very last channels that families could go to and not be bombarded with politically correct commercials and LGBTQ agenda.”

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The backlash led to the decision to pull the Zola ads. A post on the One Million Mom’s website said that Bill Abbott had “reported the advertisement aired in error”. It also said, “The call to our office gave us the opportunity to confirm the Hallmark Channel will continue to be a safe and family-friendly network.” Hallmark’s decision to pull the specific four ads led to Zola withdrawing all their ads altogether.

Wedding planning company Zola partnered with Hallmark Channel to air their ads. Zola submitted six ads to Hallmark. Four of these showed a lesbian couple, that received a backlash from conservative viewers.

Hallmark’s Reverses Decision

On Sunday however, Hallmark issued an apology also reversed its decision to pull the Zola ads, calling it a “wrong decision”.

“The Crown Media team has been agonizing over this decision as we’ve seen the hurt it has unintentionally caused,” said a statement issued Sunday evening by Hallmark Cards Chief Executive Officer Mike Perry, which went on to say, “We are truly sorry for the hurt and disappointment this has cause”. Molly Biwer, senior vice president for public affairs at Hallmark, stressed that Hallmark believes in inclusion and diversity. She also added that the reversal, and not the original decision, “truly reflects who we are as a company. We celebrate all families.”

Zola expressed relief at the new decision. The company said it would be in touch with Hallmark “regarding a potential return to advertising.” Chief marketing officer Mike Chi also released a statement saying, “We are humbled by everyone who showed support not only for Zola but also for all LGBTQ couples and families who express their love on their wedding day, and every day.”

CEO of advocacy group GLAAD, Sarah Kate Ellis also appreciated the reversal of the decision. “LGBTQ people deserve to see ourselves represented on all TV networks.” According to her, Hallmark’s “decision to correct its mistake sends an important message to LGBTQ people and represents a major loss for fringe organizations like One Million Moms, whose sole purpose is to hurt families like mine.” Hallmark’s statement also said the broadcaster will be “working with GLAAD to better represent the LGBTQ community.”

However, One Million Moms has reacted to this reversal by posting a Boycott Hallmark Pledge.

Image credit: Northwest Arkansas Democrat Gazette

Prapti is an intern at SheThePeople.TV.

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