The Hallmark Channel faces heavy criticism on social media over its decision to pull ads for a wedding-planning website that featured two brides kissing each other.
Hallmark’s move, at the time of its high-ratings Christmas movie season ignited a firestorm on social media, where netizens criticized the network’s decision to pull the same-sex ads and demanded to boycott the channel.
The network pulled TV commercials featuring brides kissing each other on Thursday, after conservative group ‘One Million Moms’ complained and called for a boycott of the network.
Zola began airing around half-dozen commercials on the Hallmark Channel earlier this month.
Four of them featured a same-sex couple, while the two that weren’t pulled portrayed heterosexual couples, who were also shown kissing in one of the spots.
The Network said it had removed the ads because the controversy was a distraction.
She, during an interview, added: “The Hallmark brand is never going to be divisive. We don’t want to generate controversy, we’ve tried very hard to stay out of it … we just felt it was in the best interest of the brand to pull them and not continue to generate controversy.”
The Hallmark Channel apologized late Sunday for its decision to pull ads from wedding-planning company Zola Inc. that featured a same-sex couple and offered to reinstate the ads after a firestorm erupted on social media.
“The Crown Media team has been agonizing over this decision as we’ve seen the hurt it has unintentionally caused. Said simply, they believe this was the wrong decision,” Hallmark Cards Inc. Chief Executive Mike Perry said in a statement.
“We are truly sorry for the hurt and disappointment this has caused.” Hallmark Cards Inc. owns Crown Media, which owns the Hallmark Channel.
The company said late Sunday the Hallmark Channel would be reaching out to Zola to reinstate the commercials.