Don’t look for LGBTQ+ storylines in romance movies on cable channel Great American Family, says one of its key players, conservative Christian actress Candace Cameron Bure.
Bure, once the “secular Christmas rom-com queen of the Hallmark Channel,” left Hallmark this year for Great American Family, which “is positioning itself as the God-and-country alternative for holiday entertainment,” as The Wall Street Journal puts it. She went along with Bill Abbott, who resigned as chief executive of Hallmark Channel parent company Crown Media Family Networks to become chief executive of Great American Media, parent of Great American Family. Bure is “the face” of Great American Family, the Journal notes, holding the title of chief creative officer and producing and acting in movies.
In a recent interview, the Journal asked Bure if Great American Family will feature same-sex couples in holiday romance movies, as Hallmark has begun to do. “I think that Great American Family will keep traditional marriage at the core,” she replied.
Abbott, however, left the door open a tiny crack. “It’s certainly the year 2022, so we’re aware of the trends,” he told the Journal. “There’s no whiteboard that says, ‘Yes, this’ or ‘No, we’ll never go here.’”
Bure, an alum of the series Full House and Fuller House and the sister of right-wing (and anti-LGBTQ+) Christian actor Kirk Cameron, has sent mixed signals to the LGBTQ+ community and other marginalized people over the years. In 2015, while a cohost on The View, she defended an Oregon bakery that refused to provide wedding cakes to same-sex couples. But the following year she said she’d be “on board” with Fuller House portraying LGBTQ+ characters and same-sex relationships. The show did have one clearly gay character and implied — in an isolated, offhand moment — that another was bisexual.
But also in 2015 on The View, she heaped HIV stigma on actor Danny Pintauro, who is living with the virus. “Do you take responsibility for your actions, for being promiscuous, going into a lifestyle of having heightened sex because of the meth that you were using?” Bure asked him.
Of her move from Hallmark to Great American Family, Bure told the Journal, “My heart wants to tell stories that have more meaning and purpose and depth behind them. I knew that the people behind Great American Family were Christians that love the Lord and wanted to promote faith programming and good family entertainment.”
Hallmark, meanwhile, is standing up for diversity. “We want all viewers to see themselves in our programming, and everyone is welcome,” a spokeswoman told the paper.