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Amid Hallmark Boycott Queer-Inclusive Freeform Tells Zola, 'Call Us'

One Million Moms

While Hallmark has zero LGBTQ characters in its holiday movies, Freeform is about to release a Valentine's Day rom-com about two men in love. 

In the wake of Zola cutting ties with the Hallmark Channel for pulling ads that feature a lesbian wedding, Freeform, the network behind groundbreaking queer-themed shows including The Fosters, The Bold Type, and Good Trouble, has tweeted that it would gladly be home to the lesbian wedding campaign.

Following pressure from anti-LGBTQ groups including One Million Moms, the Hallmark Channel pulled four ads from wedding registry site Zola that feature lesbian nuptials, while keeping two Zola ads that don't include the same-sex wedding narrative. Now Zola has pulled the entire campaign from the Hallmark Channel and canceled all of its advertising with the network "for the foreseeable future," a spokesperson told The Advocate.

However, the ads that feature two women getting married are still airing on several other networks and streaming on Hulu.

Zola created six different ads for its campaign that ran on Hallmark, four of which included the same-sex couple. When Hallmark pulled the four ads featuring the gay couple but left the two ads that featured only opposite-sex couples, Zola made the decision to pull all of the ads, according to the spokesperson.

"Hallmark has now pulled our ads featuring the same-sex couple. We decided to cancel all our advertising on Hallmark and pull the remainder of our ads," Zola officials told The Advocate in a statement.

By Saturday evening, #BoycottHallmark was trending on Twitter, which is when Freeform offered a space for Zola's ads.

The anti-LGBTQ move by Hallmark, long a bastion of heteronormative holiday movies, comes a week after it announced it would be open to making a Christmas movie that featured a same-sex couple, and days after groups like One Million Moms called for a boycott of the channel because of the gay-themed Zola ad.

Freeform's tweet exhibits its continued support for LGBTQ people, but it's also significant because the network that began as ABC Family and that has been telling bold stories about queer lives for more than a decade, has recently begun producing queer-themed holiday films.

Just this month, Freeform released Ghosting: The Spirit of Christmas, which features a queer storyline between characters played by Kimiko Glenn and Jazz Raycole. This Valentine's Day, the network will release The Thing About Harry, a rom-com with a central storyline about two men falling in love. The film stars Jake Borelli (Grey's Anatomy) and newcomer Niko Terho. It's written and directed by Peter Paige (who also costars).

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