Hilarie Burton was once frequently seen in Hallmark movies, but she hasn’t appeared in any for quite some time. The actress is now set to star in The Walking Dead alongside her husband, Jeffrey Dean Morgan, and she hasn’t shared any plans about coming back to Hallmark any time soon. She left a Hallmark movie after they had a disagreement about casting.
Burton Said She Left After Requesting Increased Diversity in Casting
Burton shared on Twitter that she left a Hallmark job in January 2019 after she insisted that a movie she was working on include diverse casting, including an LGBTQ character and an interracial couple.
Requests were honored, I was told “take it or leave it”.
I left it. And the paycheck. Shitty being penalized for standing up for inclusivity. I really wanted that job. It was close to my house. It paid really well. It was about the military, which you all know I hold dear. But?
— Hilarie Burton Morgan (@HilarieBurton) December 15, 2019
Just going through some old emails from a #Hallmark job I was “let go” from back in January. I had insisted on a LGBTQ character, an interracial couple and diverse casting. I was polite, direct and professional. But after the execs gave their notes on the script and NONE of my Requests were honored, I was told “take it or leave it”. I left it. And the paycheck. S****y being penalized for standing up for inclusivity. I really wanted that job. It was close to my house. It paid really well. It was about the military, which you all know I hold dear. But? d walk away again in a heartbeat. The bigotry comes from the top and permeates the whole deal over there. I’ve been loudly cheering for @lifetimetv all year because they heard my concerns + RALLIED! You want inclusive Christmas magic?! We got it. Love is love #receipts
She then added that her husband, Morgan, pays the bills so she has the luxury of leaving a job over her beliefs, but not everyone has that choice.
She wrote: “Key point here: I have a wonderful husband @JDMorgan who works his a** off so I have the luxury to choose morals over paying bills. Not everyone has that! Nor should we be forced to be dependent. If I had to cover our mortgage and was told ‘take it or leave it’, I’d be f***ed.”
Morgan responded with words of support for his wife. He wrote: “One, I do love you in an elf costume. Two, and most importantly… @Hallmark and @hallmarkchannel?? Gross. No other words needed. #loveislove”
Since 2019 and the incident Burton described, Hallmark has moved to increase diversity in its movies. In 2020, Hallmark premiered The Christmas House, which featured Hallmark’s first LGBTQ storyline involving one of the main characters.
In 2019, Burton starred in A Christmas Wish on Lifetime.
Burton starred in three Hallmark movies. When The Hallmark Channel announced more diverse movies in 2020, one fan asked Burton if she might return to Hallmark. Burton replied by quoting a Fox article where Crown Media said she wasn’t an employee.
They said they don’t know me.
Uh huh. https://t.co/fsfqe1hN3t
— Hilarie Burton Morgan (@HilarieBurton) August 12, 2020
A representative told Fox News in December 2019 about Burton’s claim: “Hilarie Burton was not an employee of Crown Media Family Networks.”
Burton Starred in Multiple Hallmark Movies
Burton has starred in multiple Hallmark movies over the years.
She starred in Surprised by Love opposite Paul Campbell. The synopsis reads: “Josie Mayfield, a no-nonsense businesswoman working at her father’s successful cookware company, thinks her boyfriend Richard is the perfect man – handsome, successful and driven. The problem is that Josie’s parents, Joseph and Claire, do not agree. When Josie meets up with Gridley, an underachieving, old high school flame (who still has a crush on Josie), Richard dreams up a plan to make himself look good to Josie’s parents: Gridley will be Josie’s date at Joseph and Claire’s upcoming anniversary party. When Joseph and Claire see Josie with a ‘loser,’ they’ll give anything to have Richard back in the picture. At least, that’s the plan.”
She also starred in Summer Villa opposite Victor Webster, which still aires encores on Hallmark. In fact, an encore is airing at 1 p.m. Eastern on February 3. The synopsis reads: “A romance novelist with writer’s block and a celebrity chef suffering from a bad review accidentally end up staying at the same French villa for the summer. As they attempt to share the house and mend their personal lives, they find that what they’re really missing is more of a personal matter.”
She also starred in the Hallmark Christmas movie Naughty or Nice opposite Matt Dallas. The synopsis reads: ”
After she is suddenly fired from her job, Krissy Kringle (Hilarie Burton) is in no mood for all the misdirected Santa mail she receives to her home on Candy Cane Lane. Even so, one package in particular stands out: Santa’s Naughty or Nice book, which he left behind when visiting a child. After Krissy realizes that the book is magical and will show her all the bad deeds of those around her, Krissy sets out to expose everyone she knows who has been naughty. Eventually, the naughty list hits too close to home.”