Jen Lilley recently signed a two-year contract with GAC Family. While it’s not an exclusive contract, she indicated on Instagram that she likely won’t be making Hallmark movies during that time. She also answered questions from fans on social media about why she was joining GAC Family and addressed concerns about diversity on the new channel.
Lilley Said She Likes GAC Family Because of the Work They Do Behind-the-Scenes
Jen Lilley announced on Instagram that she’s “thankful for every opportunity I’ve had so far as an actress.” She shared that she believes she has the kindest fans, and is excited about joining GAC Family.
She indicated to one follower that she likes GAC Family because of what they do behind the scenes.
When “Justjenb” wrote that they would have to look up GAC Family because they never heard of the network, Lilley replied: “It’s new ❤️❤️❤️ and it’s already so good!!! And they do so much to give back behind the scenes. I love them.”
She also answered a similar question from another viewer who wanted to know what GAC is.
She described GAC by writing: “new network ❤️ more family friendly content. Already in almost 60 million homes and available on so many platforms. And if you’re like me and cut the expensive cable years ago, all you need is @frndlytv (which also has hallmark and so many other family frndly Channels). It’s also on @peacocktv and so many other ❤️❤️🙌🙌.”
One viewer, however, said they weren’t interested in watching GAC Family. Lilley replied, “on what premise? Family friendly? diverse? Loving?”
Another person replied on Instagram that they were unhappy with GAC Family because they believed the channel was “hate filled, judging and bigoted.”
Lilley disagreed, writing that she appreciated what GAC Family does behind the scenes and feels “compelled to support them” because they’re “rooted in truth.”
She wrote in full: “this comment couldn’t be further from the truth. GAC family is completely loving, diverse, and does so much behind the scenes for the kingdom of God that I get compelled as a Christian to support them whole heartedly. I hope you’re not believing the rumors you hear that have an agenda, but I can tell you personally, I know this channel is full of genuine love, rooted in truth, and will do so much for so many.”
In a different comment, she told another person: “it’s new and so good already! And they do SO much to give back behind the scenes. I love them! GAC family is on so many platforms and most cable too. I use @frndlytv because I don’t have cable and I love saving money.”
Paul Campbell, Another Hallmark Star, Said He Would Keep a ‘Close Eye’ on GAC for ‘Meaningful Inclusion’
Quite a few Hallmark stars have been making movies for both GAC and Hallmark ever since the new network launched. Hallmark star Paul Campbell, however, said he was going to use a wait-and-see approach when deciding about GAC Family.
When the Hallmark Heartbeats Podcast asked Campbell if he would promise not to work for GAC, Campbell replied on Twitter: “I, like everyone else, will be keeping a close eye on the GAC content rollout. If there’s a noticeable lack of meaningful inclusion then, no, I will not be working for that company.”
He clarified that he’s giving the network a chance first before making his decision. One person wrote to him, “In other words, you won’t be working for GAC. They will not have LGBT representation, nor significant POC.”
Campbell replied, “I’m a firm believer in benefit of the doubt, so we shall see.”
Many Hallmark Stars Are Also Making Movies for GAC Family
Quite a few Hallmark stars are working with GAC Family now, though only McKellar has specified that she’s in an exclusive contract. Some of the other stars include Trevor Donovan, Merritt Patterson, Susie Abromeit, Cameron Mathison, Debbie Matenopolous, Daniel Lissing, Lori Loughlin, most (but not all) of the cast of “When Hope Calls,” Sarah Lind, Rukiya Bernard, Dewshane Williams, Chad Michael Murray, Jessica Lowndes, Jill Wagner, Cindy Busby, and more.
GAC Family is an evolution of the channel previously known as Great American Country. Bill Abbott, who was the former CEO of the Hallmark Channel, launched GAC Family and GAC Living this last fall. Abbott left The Hallmark Channel in January 2020 after 11 years, The Hollywood Reporter reported. He left following controversies over same-sex commercials that were removed from the channel during the Christmas season and then later reinstated. In July 2020, Hallmark brought on Wonya Lucas as the new CEO and president of the Hallmark Channel.
Abbott, alongside Tom Hicks, is part of an investment group called GAC Media that purchased the two TV networks, Heavy previously reported. Bloomberg reported that a source said GAC Media purchased Great American Country (now GAC Family) for about $90 million. GAC Media has said that these are its first investments in family-friendly programming, Deadline reported.
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