Hallmark Channel has reversed its devisive decision to pull an advert from air after it was "deemed controversial" for featuring a same-sex marriage getting hitched.
The ad appeared on Hallmark Cards cable network - Crown Media Family Networks - and promoted Zola, a free wedding planning tool. It depicted a lesbian couple getting married to demonstrate how using the website could make planning a wedding less stressful.
The decision to remove the ad from its broadcast was encouraged by a right-right Christian group called One Million Moms which claims to 'help fight indecency.'
A long-time opponent of gay rights, the conservative activist group said it has spoken directly to Bill Abbott, chief executive of Hallmark's parent company Crown Family Networks, to complain about the ad.
The decision to then remove the advert from screens sparked public outrage, with the hashtag #BoycottHallmarkChannel quickly trending on Twitter.
The move was also picked up by public figures like Ellen Degeneres, who Tweeted: "Isn't it almost 2020? Hallmark channel... what are you thinking? Please explain. We're all ears."
— Ellen DeGeneres (@TheEllenShow) December 15, 2019
In response to the backlash, Hallmark Cards reinstated the ad and its president and chief executive, Mike Perry, released a statement with the intention of reaffirming the company's commitment to diversity and inclusion.
“The Crown Media team has been agonizing over this decision as we’ve seen the hurt it has unintentionally caused," Perry said. "Said simply, they believe this was the wrong decision."
In the statement, the company said it will be working with the advocacy group Glaad to "better represent the LGBTQ+ community across our portfolio of brands."