Hallmark to Feature LGBTQ Story for Christmas Movie

Hallmark's Countdown to Christmas

Hallmark Channel Hallmark's Countdown to Christmas

After featuring their first LGBTQ wedding in a movie earlier this year, Hallmark is now going to feature its first same-sex couple in a Christmas movie airing on November 22.

Jonathan Bennett & Brad Harder Star in the November 22 Movie

The movie, called The Christmas House, will air on November 22, 2020, at 8 p.m. Eastern (7 p.m. Central), according to Hallmark’s 2020 Christmas movie schedule. After it airs on November 22, the movie is scheduled to re-air Thursday, November 26, at 10 p.m. Eastern and Saturday, November 28, at 12 p.m. Eastern.

It’s one of 22 new movies airing on The Hallmark Channel for the 2020 Christmas season.

The movie stars Robert Buckley, Jonathan Bennett, Ana Ayora, Treat Williams, Sharon Lawrence, and Brad Harder. According to Hallmark’s description, Brandon (Bennett) and his husband Jake (Harder) will be two of the main characters in the movie.

Bennett’s prolific acting background includes Snow Falls, Love on Repeat, Christmas Made to Order, Awkward (where he played Ethan), Hit the Floor, A Christmas Kiss II, Mean Girls, A Dogwalker’s Christmas Tale, and more. He starred in two episodes of All My Children back in 2001 and 2002 and was in two episodes of Veronica Mars in 2004 at the beginning of his career. He hosts Halloween Wars on the Food Network.

According to IMDb, Bennett came out as gay in 2014. He is happily dating Jaymes Vaughan of The Amazing Race, Hollywood Life reported, and said that one day when he proposes, he wants to use a flash mob.

Harder’s Real-Life Son Is in the Movie

Brad Harder, who portrays Bennett’s character’s husband in the Hallmark movie, is perhaps best known for his role as Officer Heard on Aurora Teagarden Mysteries. He’s also appeared in The Twilight Zone, The Magicians, No Tomorrow, A Christmas Miracle, and more.

Harder shared on his Instagram that he’s just not only excited to play the first married gay couple on Hallmark, but he’s thrilled that his real-life son gets to play his baby on screen. In real life, he’s married to Graham Arychuk. Harder’s full name in real life is Brad Harder Arychuk, but he goes by Brad Harder professionally.

Hallmark’s description for the movie reads:

Working through some difficult decisions, Mitchell family matriarch Phylis (Lawrence) and patriarch Bill (Williams), have summoned their two grown sons — TV star, Mike Mitchell (Buckley) and Brandon Mitchell (Bennett) — home for the holidays. It is their hope that bringing the family together to recreate the Christmas house, will help them find resolution and make a memorable holiday for the entire family and community. As Brandon and his husband Jake (Harder) make the trip home, they are anxiously awaiting a call about the adoption of their first child. Meanwhile, Mike reconnects with Andi (Ayora), his high school sweetheart

Hallmark’s website has a shorter description for the movie, which reads: “When TV star Mike Mitchell’s parents ask him to bring back a revered family tradition, he revisits the Mitchell family magic of Christmases past.”

The Hallmark Channel announced its plans to increase LGBTQ representation in its movies in July, USA Today reported. Hallmark said in a statement: “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. We are committed to creating a Hallmark experience where everyone feels welcome.”

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