Candace Cameron Bure is responding to the backlash. Earlier this week, the actor, who serves as chief creative officer of Great American Family, told WSJ. Magazine” that the network will not feature LGBTQ couples, noting, “”I think Great American Family will keep traditional marriage at its core,” she said.
CEO Bill Abbott added: “It’s definitely in 2022, so we’re aware of the trend.” There’s no board that says, ‘Yes, this,’ or, ‘No, we’re never going here.'”
On Wednesday, Bure responded to multiple criticisms of her comments in a lengthy statement:
“I would like to direct my comments to the Great American Family program as reported in ‘The Wall Street Journal.’ All of you who know me know indisputably that I have great love and affection for all people. It absolutely breaks my heart that anyone would think that I would intentionally want to offend and hurt someone. It saddens me that the media is often trying to divide us, even around such comforting and joyous material as Christmas movies. But given the toxic climate in our culture right now, I shouldn’t be surprised. We need Christmas more than ever,” she wrote. “I am a faithful Christian. Which means I believe that every person bears the image of God. Because of that I am called to love all people and I do. If you know me, you know that I am a person who loves fiercely and unconditionally. My heart longs to build bridges and bring people one step closer to God, love others well and simply be a reflection of God’s great love for all of us.”
She continued: “To those members of the media responsible for using this opportunity to incite conflict and hatred, I have a simple message: I still love you. To those who hate what I value and attack me online: I love you. To those who have tried to assassinate my character: I love you. To everyone reading this, of any race, religion, sexuality, or political affiliation, including those who have tried to bully me with name-calling, I love you.
“I have long wanted to find a home for religious programming. I am grateful to be an integral part of a young and growing network. I had also stated in my interview, which was not included, that people of all nationalities and ethnicities have and will continue to make great contributions to the network both in front of and behind the camera, which I fully encourage and support. I have never been interested in evangelism with my narrative, but to celebrate the greatness of God in our lives through the stories I tell.
The God we serve is an extremely creative and loving God. He didn’t just capture a small part of my heart, he has captured my whole heart. He will be reflected in everything I do and say; in my family, my work and my relationships with people from all walks of life, God’s love and God’s compassion are paramount. All of this comes from the love that God Himself showered upon humanity when He gave the gift of joy and forgiveness on the first Christmas morning 2000 years ago. That’s why I love Christmas stories and sharing true joy and true peace with millions of people around the world. And purely out of pure love, I hope you will join in sharing God’s hope for the whole world this Christmas season. Call it my Christmas wish.”
Bure starred in dozens of holiday movies over the years for the Hallmark Channel before leaving in April, following former Hallmark CEO Abbott to GAF. Now she says that her former home is “a completely different network than when I started because of the leadership change”.
“My heart wants to tell stories that have more meaning and purpose and depth behind them,” she continued. “I knew that the people behind Great American Family were Christian people who love the Lord and wanted to promote faith-based programming and good family entertainment.”
In September, Bure spoke to Diversity detailed the move and whether the network was diverse and inclusive – both to tell LGBTQ+ stories but also to celebrate different faiths, not just Christian holidays.
“This year we are totally focusing on Christmas. I’m sure as the channel continues to build content it will include other holidays, but I think we know the core audience and what they love is exactly how Bill originally built the Hallmark Channel and it was Christmas and these traditional holidays and so what the focus will be,” she said at the time. “You have to start somewhere. You can’t do everything at once.”
When asked if there were conversations going on about gay storylines, she told us, “We haven’t had those discussions specifically. It is not entirely up to me because it is the board that is behind all these decisions, but of course it will be talked about. And you know, we’ll see to it. We’ll see how it goes.”