Why Hilarie Burton Stars in Lifetime Movies But Not Hallmark

Getty Hilarie Burton in 2019.

Hilarie Burton still acts for Lifetime, but fans no longer see her in movies for The Hallmark Channel. The actress, who also recently appeared in two episodes of “The Walking Dead,” has said that she had an experience with Hallmark that left her not wanting to act with the network in the future.

She Tweeted That She Was Told to ‘Take It or Leave It’ When She Requested Increased Diversity in Casting

In December 2019, Burton tweeted that she left a Hallmark job that January because she was told to “take it or leave it” when she requested increased diversity in casting.

She wrote in a series of tweets:

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? …

Id 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…

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.

She shared that she really wanted the job, but had to leave when she realized she was being penalized for standing up for inclusivity. Now, she added, she’s been “loudly cheering for @lifetimetv all year because they heard my concerns.”

Her husband, Jeffrey Dean 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”

She Recently Appeared on Lifetime’s ‘Dear Christmas’

Hilarie Burton on Why Lifetime Is So Empowering | toofabThe actress opens up about working on her fourth holiday movie for the network, her plan to direct and reuniting with her One Tree Hill costars for Lifetime.2019-12-02T15:18:35Z

In 2020, Burton appeared on Lifetime’s movie “Dear Christmas.” She appeared alongside Melissa Joan Hart, Jason Priestley, Robin Givens, Antwon Tanner, Ed Begley Jr., Faith Prince, Nicky Whelan, and more.

Her other appearances include “The Walking Dead,” “Council of Dads” (six episodes), “A Christmas Wish” in 2019, “The Christmas Contract” in 2018, “Lethal Weapon” the TV series (six episodes,) “Summer Villa” in 2016, “Last Chance for Christmas” in 2015, “Extant” (Anna for six episodes), “Grey’s Anatomy,” “White Collar” (Sara for 25 episodes), “One Tree Hill” (Peyton for 130 episodes), and more.

In an interview with TooFab in 2019, Burton said that Lifetime is empowering. She said:

It’s very fashionable to be pro-women, but Lifetime has a track record that they’ve been doing before anyone else. And so what I’ve found is that particularly in this genre in other outlets, I’ve always had male directors, you know, like men that I’ve had to have conversations with who are lovely, but … I have to say, ‘This is not as a woman how I feel’ or ‘I feel this is being misrepresented.’ At Lifetime, it is always a female director, a female writer. The woman is always the lead of the movie. … There is an empowerment there and they don’t want you to be one-trick pony. They have encouraged me. I’ve produced the last two films that I’ve done with them. … It’s a place where women can grow, and I’m really, really proud to be involved with them.

READ NEXT: Hallmark Movies & Mysteries’ Christmas in July 2021 Schedule

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