Hallmark announces plans to debut ‘LGBTQ storylines, characters and actors’

Entertainment

Hallmark movies will be more diverse in the near future.

On Thursday, amid criticism that none of the company’s 40 upcoming holiday movies feature an LGBTQ lead, a Hallmark Channel spokesperson told “Good Morning America” that change is coming.

In the coming months, the representative said, Hallmark will make announcements about “projects featuring LGBTQ storylines, characters and actors.”

“Diversity and inclusion is a top priority for us,” read the company’s statement. “We are committed to creating a Hallmark experience where everyone feels welcome.”

Last year, Hallmark apologized for removing a Zola commercial that featured a gay couple amid complaints from One Million Moms, a conservative group that is a part of the American Family Association. Hallmark’s parent company, Crown Media, also vowed to partner with LGBTQ advocacy group GLAAD “to better represent the LGBTQ community across our portfolio of brands.”

“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,” Hallmark Cards CEO Mike Perry said in a statement at the time. “We are truly sorry for the hurt and disappointment this has caused.”

“Across our brand, we will continue to look for ways to be more inclusive and celebrate our differences,” he added.

Hallmark’s “Countdown to Christmas” movies and Hallmark Movies & Mysteries’ franchise “Miracles of Christmas” will kick off Friday, October 23. Some of those projects include:

Hallmark Channel

· “A Royal Holiday,” starring Laura Osnes, Aaron Tveit and Krystal Joy Brown

· “Jingle Bell Bride,” starring Julie Gonzalo and Ronnie Rowe

· “A Christmas Tree Grows in Brooklyn,” starring Rochelle Aytes and Mark Taylor

· “If I Only Had Christmas,” starring Candace Cameron Bure

· “Deliver by Christmas,” starring Alvina August and Eion Bailey

· “On the 12th Date of Christmas,” starring Mallory Jansen and Tyler Hynes

· “Christmas Waltz,” starring Lacey Chabert

· “Christmas in Vienna,” starring Sarah Drew and Brennan Elliott

· “Christmas in Evergreen 4,” starring Rukiya Bernard and Holly Robinson Peete

· “Chateau Christmas,” starring Merritt Patterson and Luke Macfarlane

· “Cross Country Christmas,” starring Rachael Leigh Cook

· “Christmas Carnival,” starring Tamera Mowry-Housley

· “When Calls the Heart Christmas 2020,” starring Erin Krakow, Pascale Hutton, Jack Wagner, Kavan Smith, Chris McNally, Kevin McGarry, Paul Greene, Andrea Brooks and Martin Cummins

Hallmark Movies & Mysteries

· “Christmas Tree Lane,” starring Alicia Witt and Andrew Walker

· “Holly & Ivy,” starring Janel Parrish, Jeremy Jordan, and Marisol Nichols

· “The Christmas Bow,” starring Lucia Micarelli and Michael Rady

· “Cranberry Christmas,” starring Nikki DeLoach and Benjamin Ayres

· “Christmas Doctor,” starring Holly Robinson Peete

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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