Hallmark Channel Exec: LGBTQ-Themed Films to Come

by Kevin Schattenkirk

EDGE Media Network Contributor

Sunday July 19, 2020

The Hallmark network is known for turning out several holiday movies, most of which are centered on straight couples finding love during Christmastime. On Wednesday, the company announced 18 of 40 new films to air on the channel and though none include LGBTQ storylines, George Zaralidas, Crown Media Vice President of Network Program Publicity, told Newsweek that Hallmark is seeking to eventually have a more diverse lineup of films.

"Diversity and inclusion is a top priority for us and look forward to making some exciting programming announcements in the coming months, including announcements about projects featuring LGBTQ storylines, characters, and actors," he said. "We are committed to creating a Hallmark experience where everyone can feel welcome."

Perhaps such a promise is an olive branch, of sorts, over a debacle during the most recent holiday season when Hallmark aired an ad featuring a same-sex couple, received backlash from religious conservative viewers, pulled the ad, received backlash from the LGBTQ community and allies and, in the end, apologizing for the discriminatory implications of pulling the ad. One month later, in January of this year, Hallmark Media's CEO, Bill Abbott, departed the corporation with no explanation.

With the holiday season fast approaching, perhaps Hallmark will indeed make it gay and festive? Read the story at Newsweek here.

Kevin Schattenkirk is an ethnomusicologist and pop music aficionado.