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A scene from the controversial ad. Photo: NBC News screenshot.

Hallmark Channel decisions on ads have now angered all sides in culture wars

Another large company has given conflicting messages in the culture wars. Chick-fil-A was accused of changing its giving practices in response to criticism, and now the Hallmark Channel has reversed course and will allow gay-themed ads to air after originally pulling them.

The Pew Research organization has found that just 1 in 10 gay Americans is in a same-sex marriage, That would mean that the ads were targeting an incredibly small number of American adults – between .3 and 1 percent of all Americans overall.  Polls indicate that between 40 and 50 percent of all Americans still believe marriage should be between individuals of the opposite sex.

Mike Perry, CEO of Hallmark Cards in Kansas City, apologized for having caused “hurt and disappointment” for pulling a Zola ad featuring a lesbian wedding kiss and promised to build a more-inclusive atmosphere in the company’s programming.

READ: Pro-life message lauded in Hallmark film

“The Crown Media team has been agonizing over this decision as we’ve seen the hurt it has unintentionally caused,” Perry said, as reported by The Hollywood Reporter. “Said simply, they believe this was the wrong decision. Our mission is rooted in helping all people connect, celebrate traditions and be inspired to capture meaningful moments in their lives. Anything that detracts from this purpose is not who we are. We are truly sorry for the hurt and disappointment this has caused.… Across our brand, we will continue to look for ways to be more inclusive and celebrate our differences.”

On the company website, Hallmark also promised to work alongside the activist organization Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation to create more-inclusive programming while touting its record on LGBT issues:

The hashtag #BoycottHallmarkChannel began trending on Saturday after the New York Times reported the channel pulled four ads for the wedding planning and registry website Zola for offending viewers with content they “deemed controversial.” The decision came in response to a petition launched by the activist family group One Million Moms that denounced the ad as inappropriate for a “family friendly” channel.

“Until recently, Hallmark had a good record for keeping their movies and commercials family friendly,” the petition said. “Now parents can no longer trust Hallmark because Hallmark is no longer allowing parents to be the primary educators when it comes to sex and sexual morality. Parents need to know they could now come face-to-face with the LGBT agenda when they sit down to watch the Hallmark Channel.”

–Alan Goforth | Metro Voice