Hallmark's parent company, Crown Media Family Networks, said on Saturday that it had stopped airing ads from the wedding planning website Zola — including one of two brides kissing after getting married — after it received complaints from One Million Moms, a conservative group that's a part of the American Family Association.
The network's decision quickly sparked backlash online, including from celebrities and politicians. Then on Sunday, Hallmark Channel walked back its decision and apologized for removing the ads.
"The Crown Media team has been agonizing over this decision as we’ve seen the hurt it has unintentionally caused. Said simply, they believe this was the wrong decision," Mike Perry, president and CEO of Hallmark Cards Inc., said in a statement. "We are truly sorry for the hurt and disappointment this has caused."
"Across our brand, we will continue to look for ways to be more inclusive and celebrate our differences," he added.
In a statement from Zola, the company said, "We were deeply troubled when Hallmark rejected our commercials for featuring a lesbian couple celebrating their marriage, and are relieved to see that decision was reversed. We are humbled by everyone who showed support not only for Zola, but for all the LGBTQ couples and families who express their love on their wedding day, and every day."
On "The View" Monday, the co-hosts responded to the controversy.
"You can disagree with same-sex marriage if you want to," Goldberg said. "[But] it's the same if you said, 'Well you shouldn't have shown that interracial couple.'"
"People marry who they marry. You can get up and go to the bathroom if you don't like the commercial," Goldberg added.
Abby Huntsman, who was raised on Mormon beliefs and later left the church, opened up about grappling with the faith.
"The reasons why I left the church was because, one, I married a guy that's not Mormon, but two, they continue to struggle to evolve on this issue," Huntsman said, referring to same-sex marriage.
"I have always made the argument that if you are for strong family values, you should be supportive of gay marriage," Huntsman continued. "Because that means you let someone marry who they love, and that makes for a much better family unit. I don't think we should be ashamed. We should celebrate in this country that you can marry who you love."
"Kids across this country wake up and see two moms kissing and two dads kissing and loving each other. That's something we should all celebrate. I was so upset when they pulled this ad. I'm glad they changed it," she added.
Sunny Hostin agreed with Huntsman, saying that "it's the same problem" she's had with the Catholic religion.
"My grandmother's best friend was a transgender woman," Hostin said. "It never occurred to me that that was perceived as being wrong."
"We're human beings and you go through stuff. You do your thing, and people marry who they love," Goldberg said. "You can't stop people because you don't like their life, and I don't understand why we're still having these battles, but maybe they're to reiterate how we feel as Americans about each other in our lives."
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