By Jonathon Van Maren
After making twenty films with the Hallmark Channel, known for its kitschy, cookie cutter romance stories, conservative actress Candace Cameron Bure recently joined the Great American Family as chief creative officer., a cable TV network specializing in what it calls family-oriented entertainment. Like virtually every other American entertainment enterprise, the Hallmark Channel recently made the pivot to LGBT content, featuring a “queer character” in their 2020 seasonal film The Christmas House (a couple, Brandon and Jake, discussing adopting a child), and on December 11 will be releasing The Holiday Sitter, a “gay romance” in which a bachelor babysitting his niece falls for the neighbor man.
This move is unsurprising to anyone following our cultural shift—once the term “family” was redefined, it was clear that “family-friendly” would also mean something very different very quickly. What followed, too, has been predictable—the public pillorying of anyone who questions this new version of “family-friendly” and the arrival of queer Christmas films. Candace Cameron Bure found this out the hard way when, in a recent Wall Street Journal interview, she stated that the Great American Family would be avoiding such storylines: “I think the Great American Family will keep traditional marriage at the core,” she said. The reaction was immediate.
Actress Jojo Siwa stated that focusing on the “traditional family” was active discrimination. “Honestly, I can’t believe…she would not only create a movie with the intention of excluding LGBTQIA+, but then also talk about it in the press,” she wrote on Instagram. “This is rude and hurtful to a whole community of people.” The post was swiftly packed with positive comments and affirmation. Hallmark star Holly Robinson Peete responded: “Go make the content that you want to make but why insist on castigating others? It’s the judgment for me,. As a proud mom of an LGBTQIA person, the traditional marriage quote stung. Proud to be on Hallmark channel which understands the importance of diversity and inclusion of EVERYONE.”