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Hallmark Is "Truly Sorry" For Pulling A Wedding Ad Featuring Two Brides It Initially Said Was Too Controversial

Zola told BuzzFeed News it "will be in touch with Hallmark in the coming days regarding a potential return to advertising."

Posted on December 16, 2019, at 8:30 a.m. ET

Zola

Hallmark has apologized for pulling an ad featuring a same-sex couple from the wedding company Zola that the network had felt was too controversial and distracting.

The move enraged thousands of people online, including prominent LGBTQ celebrities, and led to calls to boycott Hallmark in the middle of its popular Christmas movie season.

I married my husband in 2009, and we raised 5 children together. The ⁦@hallmarkchannel⁩’s decision to cave to pressure from homophobes is very sad. Until they affirm the equality of LGBTQ families, we will #BoycottHallmark. LOVE MAKES A FAMILY. ❤️ https://t.co/IYmEQiF39Q

On Sunday night, Hallmark announced it had made a mistake.

In a statement posted on Twitter, the president and CEO of Hallmark Cards, Mike Perry, wrote the team was "truly sorry" for the move.

"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," he said. "We are truly sorry for the hurt and disappointment this has caused."

Hallmark said it would be "working with GLAAD to better represent the LGBTQ community across our portfolio of brands" and "reaching out to Zola to reestablish our partnership and reinstate the commercials."

Hallmark will be working with GLAAD to better represent the LGBTQ community across our portfolio of brands. The Hallmark Channel will be reaching out to Zola to reestablish our partnership and reinstate the commercials.

A spokesperson for Zola said the company "will be in touch with Hallmark in the coming days regarding a potential return to advertising."

The company's chief marketing officer, Mike Chi, said in a statement that Zola was "deeply troubled when Hallmark rejected our commercials for featuring a lesbian couple celebrating their marriage, and are relieved to see that decision was reversed."

He added: "We are humbled by everyone who showed support not only for Zola, but for all the LGBTQ couples and families who express their love on their wedding day, and every day."

Hallmark had initially pulled the ad after a petition from the conservative group One Million Moms. Molly Biwer, senior vice president for public affairs and communications at Hallmark, told the Associated Press that the company found the debate surrounding the commercials "distracting."

"The Hallmark brand is never going to be divisive," she said. "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.”

In a statement to BuzzFeed News, GLAAD president and CEO Sarah Kate Ellis said Hallmark's reversal was a win.

"The Hallmark Channel’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," she said.


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