“Full House” star and “Dancing With the Stars” season 18 finalist Candace Cameron Bure gave an interview with the Wall Street Journal on November 14 in which she explained why she left the Hallmark Channel, where she had been starring in movies and TV shows for over a decade.
The self-proclaimed “Queen of Christmas” (it’s in her Instagram profile) said that her new home for Christmas films, Great American Family (GAC), is a better fit for her because it “promote[s] faith programming. But she also made a reference to Hallmark’s recent decision to have LGTBQ Christmas rom-coms by praising GAC’s focus on “traditional marriage” and people are not happy about it.
GAC Thinks Christian Content is ‘Grossly Underserved’ in Entertainment
In the interview with the Wall Street Journal, the “Dancing With the Stars” third-place finisher said she left Hallmark and moved to GAC because she knew that “the people behind Great American Family were Christians that love the Lord and wanted to promote faith programming and good family entertainment.”
Bill Abbott, chief executive of Great American Media, commented that “faith-based content is grossly underserved” and that Bure was “the key piece” of what they are trying to do.
“We’re really here to spread joy and to spread love and happy, good feelings,” she said of GAC’s intent, adding, “I think that Great American Family will keep traditional marriage at the core” of its holiday movies.
She declined to specifically address her departure from Hallmark, citing a “change of leadership” making it a “completely different network” than when she started. Abbott was a former chief executive of Hallmark’s parent company who moved to GAC in 2021.
When the Wall Street Journal asked Abbott about movies centered around LGBTQ couples, he said that they are “aware of the trends” today and that “there’s no whiteboard that says, ‘Yes, this’ or ‘No, we’ll never go here.’”
Bure also said that she thinks people of all faiths can enjoy the message.
“I want to be able to tell that story in a beautiful way, but also that is not off-putting to the unbeliever or someone who shares a different faith,” said Bure.
Meanwhile, a spokesperson for Hallmark told the WSJ, “We want all viewers to see themselves in our programming and everyone is welcome.”
To be clear, Hallmark is not suddenly overrun with LGBTQ holiday movies. Out of its hundreds of Christmas films over the years, there have been only a handful. In 2021 the network had two movies that had gay characters, “The Christmas House” and “Mix Up in the Mediterranean,” but in neither one was the gay character a lead.
In 2022, there will be one film featuring a same-sex couple at its center. “The Holiday Sitter,” starring fellow “Dancing With the Stars” alum Jonathan Bennett and actor George Krissa, is about a man named Sam who finds romance with the handsome neighbor of his niece and nephew that he is looking after at the holidays.
Fans Are Not Happy About the ‘Traditional Marriage’ Comment
Social media began lighting up shortly after the Wall Street Journal published the article with people calling Bure a bigot for her “traditional marriage” comment.
“This is your yearly reminder Candace Cameron is a horrible person ,” wrote one fan on Twitter. “I could say something witty, but I’ll just say she can f*** off.”
“Personally I love seeing LGBTQA romance in hallmark movies. Bye Candace Cameron Bure,” wrote another fan.
“I’ve said it before and I’ll proudly say it once more… F*** Candace Cameron Furee!!!!” wrote third fan.
“Candace Cameron Bure is a special kind of stupid,” wrote another fan.
Many fans think it is hypocritical to espouse the teachings of Jesus, whose basic message was one of love and acceptance, while excluding an entire group of people. And several fans commented that they like the holiday films that have gay characters.
“Have watched 100s of Christmas movies. The recent trend by Hallmark (finally) & other production companies to tell more diverse & inclusive stories has made better movies!” wrote one fan on Twitter.
“This sanctimonious, bigoted ‘Christian’ is an a$$hole,” wrote another fan.
“Thank you for showing the real ‘Christian’ that you are! Nothing but ‘traditional’ families and nothing but ‘Christian’ holiday movies on GAC… no Hanukkah, no Kwanza. Some love you show there! NOT! And what would Jesus do??? Certainly not show the underhanded, subliminal hate that you espouse! Love your neighbor, Candace! Not just the white, straight Christian ones!!” wrote one fan on Instagram.
Another added, “No one wants your signature on a prayer when you are homophobic and believe that Christmas movies shouldn’t represent everyone.”
A Christian Hallmark viewer wrote on Facebook, “I’m a Christian and I believe love is love and I agree with the way Hallmark is evolving. It’s about time change is made in media for equality. Her using Christianity as an excuse is wrong in my opinion.”
Edited to add: Several celebrities have also criticized Bure’s comments, calling her “rude” and a hypocrite.
Reps for Bure have not immediately responded to Heavy’s request for comment.
Updated to add: Bure has issued a statement to Heavy responding to the backlash over her interview.
Some Fans Say Bure Has a Right to Her Opinion
There are also many fans who think Bure is correct, or simply that she has a right to her opinion.
“I support Candace Cameron. We all have the right to choose our path and values,” wrote one fan on Facebook.
“I was SHOCKED at the recent Hallmark movie that included a gay couple. It was the last time I watched that station! I prayed for you that day because I knew your work environment was changing. The LGBTQ+ community is actually VERY small (6%-12%), yet most think it’s much larger because of all the attention they get. There’s a higher concentration of Christians in USA, yet they are rarely portrayed on TV, and if so, often in a demeaning way. Soo glad you found a new home station in which your talent may glorify God! Sooo thankful Bill Abbott didn’t give up on providing quality inspiring shows. He was right about the commercial on Hallmark,” wrote another fan.
“You can’t blame her for sticking to her beliefs. She has just as much right to her beliefs as anyone else does,” wrote a third fan.
“Good for her… Christians are allowed our beliefs too as does everyone. The beauty of being a free country is that you can choose to watch or not. Stop getting offended by everyone else’s beliefs and move on,” wrote another fan.
“Good on her. It’s hard to be a true Christian these days, especially in entertainment where you have to toe the line or get cancelled. It’s bold to take a stand like this, and I applaud her and Abbott for having the courage to do so,” said a fifth fan.
“Dancing With the Stars” airs Mondays at 8 p.m. Eastern and 5 p.m. Pacific times on Disney Plus.