After the Hallmark Channel had pulled a commercial that shows two brides kissing, the company reversed its decision after backlash.
The ads for the wedding planning website Zola feature a lesbian couple who seal their marriage with a kiss which can be seen above.
Since the commercial first aired on Dec. 2, a conservative group called a boycott against the Hallmark Channel. The channel obliged and had removed the spot.
In emails exchanged with The New York Times, a spokesperson for the network said that the “public displays of affection” violated the channel’s policies, but would not comment on why a male and female kissing was still okay.
They also added that Hallmark’s parent company, Crown Media, removed them after they were “deemed controversial.”
Earlier this week, One Million Moms, a division of the conservative American Family Association published a statement that asked Hallmark to “please reconsider airing commercials with same-sex couples.”
Zola was notified in an email that four of their six commercials were to be removed on Thursday.
“We are not allowed to accept creatives that are deemed controversial,” a rep told Zola in an email exchange.
“The decision not to air overt public displays of affection in our sponsored advertisement, regardless of the participants, is in line with our current policy, which includes not featuring political advertisements, offensive language, R-rated movie content and many other categories,” a spokesperson for Hallmark later told The New York Times.
Zola’s chief marketing officer, Mike Chi, said, “The only difference between the commercials that were flagged and the ones that were approved was that the commercials that did not meet Hallmark’s standards included a lesbian couple kissing.”
He added, “Hallmark approved a commercial where a heterosexual couple kissed. All kisses, couples and marriages are equal celebrations of love and we will no longer be advertising on Hallmark.”
On Sunday evening, Hallmark Channel CEO issued a new statement reversing the decision.
“I am sorry for the hurt and disappointment this has caused… Hallmark Channel will be reaching out to Zola to reestablish our partnership and reinstate the commercials… We will continue to look for ways to be more inclusive & celebrate our differences,” a statement said.
Since the news wet viral the hashtag #BoycottHallmark has been trending on Twitter for over 24 hours. A number of celebs and organizations have also issued their own responses. Read them below: