All we want for Christmas is some LGBTQ representation! And we must have made it onto the nice list this year because Hallmark Channel says that's exactly what it's planning for its 2020 holiday programming.
In a statement toOut Magazine, Hallmark Channel announced it is in "active negotiations" to include LGBTQ characters and storylines into its holiday movies this year. "Diversity and inclusion is a top priority for us and we look forward to making some exciting programming announcements in the coming months, including announcements about projects featuring LGBTQ storylines, characters, and actors," said George Zaralidis, vice president of network program publicity at Hallmark's parent company, Crown Media Family Networks, "We are committed to creating a Hallmark experience where everyone feels welcome."
Right now it's unclear who the network is negotiating with to allow for this long-awaited representation in their programming, but the decision is a pretty big step forward for the Hallmark Channel. Last year the network was embroiled in controversy over its decision to pull a series of commercials featuring a same-sex wedding from the channel after a conservative group complained that it wasn't in keeping with the "family-friendly" brand of the network.
The commercials were ultimately restored after public outcry, which included criticism from several celebrities and other streaming and cable networks. Hallmark President and CEO Mike Perry apologized for the incident. Now it appears Hallmark is doubling down on their commitment to inclusion, but we'll have to wait and see if these "negotiations" actually bear fruit in the form of major LGBTQ characters and storylines in this year's holiday movie lineup.