Two separate petitions are asking Hallmark to keep its content “family-friendly” by keeping the “promotion of homosexuality and transgenderism” out of its movies and advertisements.
One of the petitions was published Monday by One Million Moms, which bills itself as a group of parents who are working to stop the “exploitation of children” by entertainment media. The other petition was published last week by LifeSiteNews, a right-wing Catholic news organization that recently promoted a false story linking trans health care to thousands of deaths. The One Million Moms petition had over 16,000 signatures as of Tuesday afternoon, while the LifeSiteNews petition had nearly 40,000, surpassing its goal of 35,000.
Both petitions are in response to recent comments from company executives who have expressed a desire to expand the diversity of the Hallmark network’s stories.
In a recent interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Bill Abbott, CEO of Hallmark’s parent company, Crown Media Family Networks, said the network is open to “any type of movie of any type of relationship in any space.”
Michelle Vicary, executive vice president of Crown Media Family Networks, echoed Abbott’s comments in a statement to The Wrap.
“We are continuing to expand our diversity,” Vicary said. “We are looking at pitches for LGBTQ movies … and we are looking to expand and represent the United States as a whole.”
Though Hallmark is rolling out 40 original holiday-themed movies this season, none of those movies include an LGBTQ main character — and One Million Moms and LifeSiteNews petitioners want to keep it this way.
“This is a good thing because it preserves children's innocence and it allows parents to be the primary educators where sex and sexual morals are concerned,” the LifeSiteNews petition states. “Hallmark would be offending Christian viewers and Christian parents BIG TIME, by experimenting with homosexual themes, and, or cooperating with the LGBT indoctrination agenda.”
The petitioners also take issue with ads that feature same-sex couples. According to One Million Moms, the organization recently received complaints over an ad aired on the channel that featured a lesbian couple kissing at their wedding ceremony.
“Shame on Hallmark for airing commercials with same-sex couples and even considering movies with LGBT content and lead characters,” the One Millions Moms petition stated, before adding that family entertainment is not the forum to “be politically correct by forcing tolerance and acceptance of homosexuality.”
Neither Hallmark nor its parent company, Crown Media Family Networks, responded to NBC News’ requests for comment.
LGBTQ representation on television hit an all-time high in 2019, with 10.2 percent of series regulars identifying as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender or queer, according to advocacy group GLAAD’s annual “Where We Are on TV” report. Though Netflix produces fewer holiday originals than Hallmark, Hallmark has fallen behind Netflix in terms of LGBTQ representation: One of the streaming service’s six holiday movies, “Let It Snow,” features LGBTQ lead characters.