KANSAS CITY, Mo. (December 15, 2019) – Earlier this week, a decision was made at Crown Media Family Networks to remove commercials featuring a same-sex couple.
“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. 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.” said Mike Perry, President and CEO, Hallmark Cards, Inc.
Hallmark is, and always has been, committed to diversity and inclusion – both in our workplace as well as the products and experiences we create. It is never Hallmark’s intention to be divisive or generate controversy. We are an inclusive company and have a track record to prove it. We have LGBTQ greeting cards and feature LGBTQ couples in commercials. We have been recognized as one of the Human Rights Campaigns Best Places to Work, and as one of Forbes America’s Best Employers for Diversity. We have been a progressive pioneer on television for decades – telling wide ranging stories that elevate the human spirit such as August Wilson’s The Piano Lesson and Colm Tóibín’s The Blackwater Lightship, both of which highlight the importance of tolerance and understanding.
Hallmark will be working with GLAAD to better represent the LGBTQ community across our portfolio of brands. The Hallmark Channel will be reaching out to Zola to reestablish our partnership and reinstate the commercials.
“Across our brand, we will continue to look for ways to be more inclusive and celebrate our differences.” Perry said.
Senior Vice President – Public Affairs & Communications
For more than 100 years, family-owned Hallmark Cards, Inc. has been dedicated to creating a more emotionally connected world. Headquartered in Kansas City, Missouri and employing 30,000 worldwide, the approximately $4 billion company operates a diversified portfolio of businesses. The Hallmark Global business sells greeting cards, gift wrap and related products in more than 30 languages with distribution in more than 100 countries and 100,000 rooftops worldwide, including about 2,000 Hallmark Gold Crown stores in five countries. Crayola® offers a wide range of art materials and creative play toys designed to spark children’s creativity around the globe. Crown Media Family Networks operates three cable channels – Hallmark Channel, Hallmark Movies & Mysteries, and Hallmark Drama – in addition to Hallmark Publishing, the e-books division of the Hallmark channels, and Hallmark Movies Now, a subscription-based streaming service. Crown Center is a real estate development company that manages the 85-acre hotel, office, entertainment and residential campus surrounding Hallmark’s headquarters. For more information, visit Hallmark.com. Connect on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, LinkedIn and YouTube.