The whole conflama blew up late last year when the Hallmark Channel aired an ad from the online wedding business Zola that showed two brides kissing during their nuptials.
One Million Moms, a pr brand created by the infamously anti-LGBTQ Christian right group American Family Association, sprung into action. The “Moms” were joined by the rabidly homophobic media outlet LifeSite News. Both groups generated online petitions, each of which drew tens of thousands of signatures protesting an ad they felt was not “safe for family viewing.”
To its discredit, Crown Media, the parent company of the Hallmark Channel which, in turn is owned by Hallmark Cards, blinked — at least temporarily.
The Zola bridge ad was pulled.
Then criticism from LGBTQ advocacy groups and others led Crown Media to rethink its retreat. The Zola ad was restored to the channel.
For good measure, Crown Media Family Networks issued a series of statements signaling the outlet’s openness to LGBTQ-inclusive programming.
Michelle Vicary, the unit’s executive vice president for programming and network publicity, said, “We are continuing to expand our diversity. We are looking at pitches for LGBT movies.”
Bill Abbott, CEO of the network, said it would be “open to really any type of movie of any type of relationship in any space.”
One Million Moms were unhappy, to say the least.
“Family entertainment is not the outlet in which to be politically correct by forcing tolerance and acceptance of homosexuality – a sinful lifestyle that Scripture clearly deems as wrong,” the group posted on its website. “You can read so in Romans 1:18-32.” (How did a good Christian ever get by before there were hyperlinks for Bible passages?)
Fast forward to this summer.
In mid-July, the Hallmark Channel released a partial list of its fall holiday movie lineup that it said would include as many as 40 original titles. None of the films included in the first batch were LGBTQ-inclusive.
Was the network once again hedging its bets?
No, insisted another Crown Media executive.
“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,” said George Zaralidis, vice president of network program publicity. “We are committed to creating a Hallmark experience where everyone feels welcome.”
So now, One Million Moms have sprung back into action.
“The once conservative network has recently caved to LGBTQ pressure and has done a one-eighty from the wholesome content the channel once aired, and the network is now catering to the Left,” the “Moms” have said in a posting on their website titled “Hallmark is Loud and Proud About Its Lead Gay Characters.”
The post added, “So many people feel betrayed by Hallmark over these past seven months. Hallmark Channel was one of the remaining channels that families could watch without being bombarded by politically correct commercials and the LGBTQ agenda.”
The group’s latest Hallmark Channel boycott petition had garnered 42,067 signatures as of July 31, which means that 957,933 of its “Mom” haven’t yet bothered to sign — despite all the time at home the COVID crisis has given them.
And that’s the thing. Just how many “Moms” are there?
Writing on GLAAD’s blog page last December, Jeremy Hooper observed, “It’s Not ‘One Million’ — It’s One Meddling Mom.”
Pointing to a woman named Monica Cole, Hooper wrote, “In the decade that I have been aware of One Million Moms, she is quite literally the only staff member I have ever heard anyone name. She is the one and only person who appears on their petitions, as well as the one and only person who speaks for them to the media. She is the mom.”
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