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Updated on Jul 20, 2020. Posted on Jul 18, 2020

Hallmark Responded To Backlash After None Of Its Upcoming Holiday Movies Featured LGBTQ Storylines

A queer Christmas love story is (finally) afoot!

You'd be hard pressed to find someone who loves Christmas more than I do. I'm...extremely enthusiastic, to say the least. So it should come as no surprise that I'm a loyal (obsessive) Hallmark movie fan.

But even though I watch Hallmark's holiday slate twice every year (shoutout to all my Christmas in July peeps!), I'll be the first to admit that its movies are extremely lacking in diversity. In fact, it wasn't until 2018, when the channel cast its first Black female leads, that I ever saw myself reflected in one of Hallmark's films.

Nine movies featuring Black leads have aired in the Countdown to Christmas slate to date, which is a marked improvement but still leaves much to be desired, particularly movies featuring other POC and LGBTQ leads.

@hallmarkchannel @hallmarkchannel glad to see this, but we need to see action like blacks, asians, & hispanics in your movies. Specifically I would like to see more movies with people of color in LEAD roles. #Hallmarkies like myself want to see ourselves represented in your sweet movies.

@howrudeareyou Oh, absolutely no queer characters or actors! This is not surprising. Hallmark is predictably white and straight. If you want black leads and LGBTQ visibility? Look to @LifetimeTV's holiday slate

Earlier this week, Hallmark revealed 18 of the movies in it upcoming 40-film holiday slate...none of which features a queer storyline (so far).

#CountdowntoChristmas is here! @EW has an exclusive look at the 40 new Christmas movies coming this holiday season including “Christmas in Vienna”. https://t.co/zEmNFoUslo

The announcement was quickly met with criticism:

40 new Hallmark Christmas movies, not a single queer lead

Any of these LGBTQ @hallmarkchannel? https://t.co/agYyTP0ZeY

We are not free until a QUEER lonely careerist leaves the big city to run their small-town family business during the holidays and inadvertently falls in love with a generically good-looking person from their past. https://t.co/ei2zzVb6HX

Hey @hallmarkchannel CEO Donald Hall Jr., so your company can be a founding sponsor of the Kansas City Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce, but year after year there are no queer Hallmark stories? It's silly, disappointing, and hypocritical. 👎https://t.co/QjlW6YRdw7

one of many, many reasons i refuse to watch hallmark https://t.co/QDmqi7Rnne

They literally just have to make the obligatory big city lady go to the obligatory small town and fall in love with a lady wreath-maker instead of a dude. Shouldn't be difficult https://t.co/pvV42XZK5W

Shortly after the backlash, Hallmark said in a statement that "diversity and inclusion is a top priority" and that it would be announcing "projects featuring LGBTQ storylines, characters, and actors" in the coming months.

@KatBroux @EW Diversity and inclusion is a top priority for us and we look forward to making more programming announcements in the coming months, with projects featuring LGBTQ storylines, characters, and actors. We are committed to creating a Hallmark experience where everyone feels welcome.

Of course, this isn’t the first time Hallmark has faced backlash regarding queer representation. Last year, the channel faced backlash after pulling an ad from wedding company Zola that featured a same-sex couple.

The news is long overdue, so let's hope Hallmark makes good on its promise. Until then, I'll be watching and waiting!

ABC

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