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Hallmark CEO steps down after ad featuring lesbian couple getting married was pulled

The channel faced major backlash after pulling the advert

2020-01-24

Words: Steve Brown

Hallmark CEO steps down after pulling an advert featuring a lesbian couple getting married.

Back in December, the homophobic – and downright irritating – group One Million Moms pressure the Hallmark Channel to pull the advert from Zola.com after deeming it inappropriate for children to see.

Understandably, the LGBTQ community and allies hit back at the channel several days later and Hallmark ended up apologising and reversed its decision.

Now, Hallmark has announced that CEO of parent company Crown Media Family Holdings, Bill Abbott, has stepped down.

NBC reported that Mike Perry, president and chief executive of Hallmark Cards, said in a statement that it was ‘more important than ever that we find relevant new ways to grow our business’, but didn’t give a reason for Abbott’s exit.

The Wall Street Journal reported that the network drew an average of 1.7 million viewers over the Christmas break, which was down from about two million in 2018.

Alphonso David, President of Human Rights Campaign, tweeted: "Bill Abbott's departure from Hallmark just months after the disastrous and wrongheaded decision to censor an ad on their network featuring a loving, same-sex couple continues to make clear: opposing equality isn't just wrong, it's bad for business.

"That's why within 36 hours of Hallmark's initial call to pull the ad featuring two brides, 75,000 HRC members and supporters had signed HRC's letter calling them out, and why we suspended their 100-point score on our Corporate Equality Index.

"Hallmark listened to those voices, reversed course and apologized. Companies and their leaders must continue to provide visibility to LGBTQ people across the nation and speak out for equality."