The company that makes those cheesy holiday movies we love so much is finding themselves in hot water this season. Recently, Hallmark ran a series of ads that featured two brides at the altar. Shortly after they were released, the channel took them down. Over the weekend, the removal of the Hallmark Channel's ad featuring a same-sex couple has received a lot of backlash online.
The ads came from a company named Zola, which helps couples plan their weddings. Six ads from Zola were submitted to Hallmark, and of the six, four were pulled from the air.
One thing that all four ads had in common was that they featured a same-sex couple. The two ads that were cleared to continue airing included a heterosexual couple.
Narcity has reached out to Hallmark for comment and will update this story.
However, Molly Biwer, senior vice-president for public affairs and communications at Hallmark told CTV News, "The debate surrounding these commercials on all sides was distracting from the purpose of our network, which is to provide entertainment value."
"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," Biwer later added in an interview with CTV.
One of the ads for Zola, a company that creates custom wedding websites, shows a same-sex couple at the altar on their wedding day.
The ad is 30-seconds long and after saying "I do" to using Zola to plan their wedding, the couple kisses and walks down the aisle together.
The removal of Zola's ads from the Hallmark Channel has drawn attention from some prominent figures in the LGBTQ+ community, including Canada's own Lilly Singh.
"Do better," the late-night host wrote on her Instagram story, where she screenshotted an article about the ad removal.
Singh has never been one to shy away from embracing her identity as a bisexual woman of colour, and her voice is respected by many other people in the community.
Isn’t it almost 2020? @hallmarkchannel, @billabbottHC... what are you thinking? Please explain. We’re all ears.— Ellen DeGeneres (@Ellen DeGeneres)1576370102.0
Zola has since pulled their other two heterosexual ads from the Hallmark channel, and chief marketing officer, Mike Chi told the Associated Press the company will no longer be advertising with Hallmark.
"All kisses, couples and marriages are equal celebrations of love and we will no longer be advertising on Hallmark."