Hallmark star Jonathan Bennett has shared his thoughts about featuring the LGBTQ+ community prominently in holiday movies after controversial comments a fellow colleague recently made. Candace Cameron Bure detailed she believed in her partnership with Great American Media, they would focus on “traditional marriage” in upcoming projects, rather than feature same-sex couples. Bennett detailed he was proud Hallmark has gone in a different direction.
In a recent interview with the Wall Street Journal, Bure talked about her decision to partner with Great American Media and take on the role of chief creative officer. She acknowledged a desire to “promote faith programming and good family entertainment,” and detailed she left Hallmark because “It basically is a completely different network than when I started because of the change of leadership.” When asked if Great American Family would incorporate LGBT love stories, as Hallmark has started to do, Bure replied, “I think that Great American Family will keep traditional marriage at the core.”
Here’s what you need to know:
Jonathan Bennett Is Proud of the Hallmark Channel
Bennett, who married his partner Jaymes Vaughan earlier this year, told E! News he is “just so proud to be on Hallmark channel that’s making these movies for everyone, because Christmas is for everyone and Hallmark channels are for everyone.” He teased his upcoming Hallmark Christmas movie, “The Holiday Sitter,” which premieres on December 11. “It is the funniest movie with so much heart and so much humor. And I think the audience is going to flip out.”
According to Flaunt, “The Holiday Sitter” is the first holiday-themed romantic comedy movie Hallmark has created that has LGBTQ+ characters front and center. Bennett co-stars with George Krissa, and he was an executive producer on the project. He plays Sam, a bachelor who heads home for Christmas to care for his niece and nephew. Krissa plays the neighbor, a handsome handyman named Jason, and naturally, the sparks fly between the two men. “Yes, ‘The Holiday Sitter’ is a gay lead-rom-com, but it’s a love story for everybody. Just like Christmas is for everybody, ‘The Holiday Sitter’ is for everybody,” Bennett detailed.
Bennett Feels ‘Unwavering Support’ From Hallmark
Bennett also spoke with People after Bure’s “traditional marriage” remarks. He did not reference Bure or her comments specifically though. “What I love so much about Hallmark Channel is the care they take in the quality of telling the story, especially when it involves LGBTQ+ people, it’s handled with so much respect,” he detailed. “It’s just been an unwavering amount of support from the network on telling the story and wanting to tell it and letting us do it how we want,” he added.
In 2020, Bennett had a role in “Christmas House,” which was the first Christmas movie Hallmark did with a gay couple incorporated into the story. He had not been told his character was gay, he was just handed the script, and it was a fabulous surprise. “I remember distinctively screaming to Jaymes, being like, ‘Babe, there’s a gay character.’ And he came running up the stairs. I think I had tears in my eyes actually because it was such a moment of feeling so seen,” Bennett recalled.
“I’m just proud to be making movies for everyone to watch at Christmas, because Christmas is for everybody,” the Hallmark noted.