Paul Greene Says It’s Scary to Speak Up: ‘Somebody’s Gonna Get Hurt’

Paul Greene

Hallmark Actor Paul Greene

Longtime Hallmark Channel actor Paul Greene says he’s caught between a rock and a hard place. After five seasons on the popular Hallmark series “What Calls the Heart,” Greene left the show to film new Christmas movies for CBS and relatively new Hallmark competitor Great American Family, where former Hallmark regulars like Candace Cameron Bure and Danica McKellar have signed exclusive contracts.

Since Greene, 48, isn’t working exclusively with any network, he’s trying to avoid the controversy that’s been brewing around Bure, who is Great American Family’s chief creative officer, since she said in a November interview with the Wall Street Journal that, in light of Hallmark beginning to feature gay couples in some of its movies, she thought Great American Family will prioritize “traditional marriage” instead.

Bure’s comments spurred a firestorm of backlash from many fans and colleagues and a swell of support from others. In a new interview, Greene said he feels a bit paralyzed by the situation, worried that speaking up may make fans upset and hurt colleagues at either network. Here’s what you need to know:

Paul Greene Says He Feels ‘Trepidatious’ About Speaking Up

Paul Greene and Danica McKellar

HallmarkPaul Greene and Danica McKellar in Hallmark Channel’s “Campfire Kiss”

One of Greene’s colleagues, fellow actor Neal Bledsoe, recently made news for leaving Great American Family over Bure’s comments and because he believes Great American Family executives are purposefully not featuring or hiring members of the LGBTQ+ community. His move received lots of positive reactions from his colleagues on social media, including Nikki DeLoach, Ashley Williams, Andrew Walker, Kimberly Williams Paisley, and Antonio Cayonne.

McKellar initially issued a statement about the need for more inclusivity in media, but also recently stood up for Bure, saying that although she’s an ally for gay friends, including actor Jonathan Bennett, she didn’t interpret her friend’s words quite the same way.

But Greene told Us Weekly on December 15 that he’s staying out of it, although he does want people to know he thinks Bure has “one of the biggest hearts.”

“It’s tough,” he said. “This time, it feels like no matter what I say, somebody’s gonna get hurt.”

He continued, “I think Dave Chappelle said it, that this is, like, the scariest time to speak. There’s never been a time where it feels trepidatious when it comes to having an opinion about anything.”

Greene went on to say that he also doesn’t feel it’s his place to weigh in, since he doesn’t know the true intention behind comments by Bure or Great American Family CEO Bill Abbott, who used to head Hallmark and added fuel to the fire by telling WSJ that his network is focused on faith-based programming and that, in reference to inclusion for the LGBTQ+ community, they are “aware of the trends” and that “there’s no whiteboard that says, ‘Yes, this’ or ‘No, we’ll never go here.’”

Greene, who has filmed with Bure multiple times, told Us Weekly, “It’s really hard for me to put myself in a position to understand what somebody meant or to put myself in a position of how like maybe the whole queer community might feel around this conversation because I’m neither. Everything I would be doing would be (a) projection or some sort of attempt to understand. But all I know is that Candace has one of the biggest hearts that I’ve ever met.”

Paul Greene Says Media Hasn’t Portrayed Candace Cameron Bure Correctly

Candace Cameron Bure, Paul Greene

HallmarkCandace Cameron Bure and Paul Greene in the Hallmark movie “A Christmas Detour”

After the pushback on her WSJ interview, Bure issued a statement via Instagram on November 16 to try to clarify her position.

She wrote, “All of you who know me, know beyond question that I have great love and affection for all people. It absolutely breaks my heart that anyone would ever think I intentionally would want to offend and hurt anyone. It saddens me that the media is often seeking to divide us, even around a subject as comforting and merry as Christmas movies. But, given the toxic climate in our culture right now, I shouldn’t be surprised. We need Christmas more than ever.”

Greene, who appeared in the 2015 Hallmark movie “A Christmas Detour” with Bure, told TV Insider on November 24 that the media whirlwind around Bure’s WSJ comments didn’t align with what he knows about the actress.

“From what I know about Candace, none of what they say in the media recently makes any sense or is true,” he told them.

Greene also told Us Weekly that he didn’t think the WSJ article portrayed Bure correctly.

“I don’t know if they posted 100 percent what she said,” Greene said. “I know that sometimes people tend to leave out…little details that can make the situation even more divisive because I feel like the whole news cycle just thrives on how much we hate each other, which drives me sideways and drives me mental.”

He told TV Insider, “They left out important parts of what she said and who she is. I know who she is. At her heart. Her friend and manager are a part of the LGBTQ community. She is amazing. She is loving to all people.”

“Whatever she chooses to produce is her choice, and I don’t judge her for that,” he continued. “I don’t agree with everything she does, and I don’t disagree with everything she does.”

But Greene said he’s also aware that defending Bure may rub some people the wrong way.

He said, “I have so many friends that are gay. They may get upset I’m not coming out against her, but I’m not because she is my friend. And I know her heart. People are so divided, and there is so much money to be made on division. I just wish we can all come together.”

Green told Us Weekly last week, “I feel like there’s gotta be a way in all of this for people to listen to one another, to come together to kind of understand what it must be like for the queer community to not have their stories told in a traditional experience like this. And then also for people to listen to the other side so that there’s an understanding and not just go, ‘Well, (Candace] is a X, Y, Z because …’ But actually go and look at the whole picture of who (she is and) what her life is.”