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Hallmark to reinstate Zola

Story By, Associated Press

28 December

Hallmark to reinstate Zola commercial showing brides kissing, after backlash

The Hallmark Channel will reinstate same-sex marriage commercials that it pulled from the network, according to a company statement sent Sunday.

An ad for wedding planning site Zola featuring two brides kissing at the altar was pulled following a complaint from the conservative group One Million Moms. A Hallmark spokesperson previously told The Associated Press that the network pulled the ad because the controversy was creating a distraction.

"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 CEO Mike Perry said in the statement. "We are truly sorry for the hurt and disappointment this has caused."

Hallmark was facing some bitter criticism on social media over its initial decision to pull the ads.

The hashtag #BoycottHallmark was trending at one point on Twitter, and celebrities like Ellen DeGeneres and William Shatner assailed the decision. "Put the commercials back!" Shatner wrote. DeGeneres asked: "Isn't it almost 2020?"

The LGBT advocacy group GLAAD called the initial decision to remove the Zola ads "discriminatory and especially hypocritical coming from a network that claims to present family programming and and also recently stated they are 'open' to LGBTQ holiday movies." The group said it would be asking other Hallmark advertisers where they stand on the issue, and if they will pull their advertising.

Zola said after the commercial was pulled that it wouldn't advertise on the channel. It wasn't clear if the company's decision has changed since Hallmark announced it will reinstate the ads.

The conservative group One Million Moms, part of the American Family Association, had complained about the ads personally to Bill Abbott, CEO of Crown Media Family Networks, Hallmark's parent company.


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