Published: Fri, January 24, 2020
Life&Culture | By Sue Mclaughlin

Hallmark Channel boss stepping down after lesbian ad debacle

Hallmark Channel boss stepping down after lesbian ad debacle

The Associated Press had reported at the time that the network had chose to pull the ads because conservative group One Million Moms had complained that the spots promoted "the LGBT agenda".

Hallmark Cards Inc. announced the CEO of their parent company, Bill Abbott of Crown Media, is leaving the company.

The chief executive of the TV network overseeing the Hallmark Channel has stepped down a month after the channel first banned and then reversed its decision and allowed four commercials featuring same-sex "weddings".

Bill Abbott worked with Crown Media for 11 years, and the company did not give a reason for his departure.

Perry added: "In a time when there is enormous competition among television networks and streaming services, it is more important than ever that we find relevant new ways to grow our business and continue to produce high quality programming that resonates with our growing audience".

The controversial commercials were among a series of six ads for Zola, a wedding planning website, which had been airing on the Hallmark Channel since December 2.

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Crown Media did not explain the reasoning behind Abbott's departure, but did say it's actively searching for his replacement. In the week before Christmas, immediately after the controversy, the network drew an average of 1.7 million viewers, down from about two million in 2018, according to Nielsen data.

"In terms of broadening out the demographic, it's something we're always thinking about, always considering, and we'll continue to make the movies where the best scripts are delivered to us and what we think have the most potential", he said.

The likes of Ellen DeGeneres and Netflix weighed in on social media.

One Million Moms told LifeSiteNews at the time that it was "extremely disappointed that the Hallmark Channel caved under pressure".

"The Crown Media team has been agonizing over this decision, as we've seen the hurt it has unintentionally caused".

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