Candace Cameron Bure responds to the recoil. Earlier this week, the actor, who serves as Great American family‘s chief creative officer, told “WSJ. Magazine” that the network will not feature LGBTQ couplesand commented, “‘I think Great American Family will keep traditional marriage at its heart,'” she said.
CEO Bill Abbott added: “It is definitely the year 2022, so we are aware of the trends. There’s no whiteboard that says, ‘Yes, this’ or ‘No, we’re never going here.’”
Bure responded on Wednesday the many criticisms of her comments in a lengthy statement:
“I would like to comment on my comments on Great American Family programming as reported in ‘The Wall Street Journal’. Anyone who knows me knows without any doubt that I have great love and affection for all people. It absolutely breaks my heart that anyone would ever think I would deliberately want to offend and hurt someone. It saddens me that the media often tries to divide us, even around a subject as comforting and joyful 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 committed Christian. Which means I believe that every human being bears the image of God. That is why 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 indiscriminately. My heart longs to build bridges and bring people one step closer to God, to love others well, and to simply be a reflection of God’s immense love for all of us.”
She continued: “To those members of the media responsible for taking this opportunity to foment conflict and hatred, I have a simple message: I love you anyway. To those who dislike what I value and attack me online: I love you. To those who have tried to kill my character: I love you. To anyone reading this, of any race, creed, sexuality or political party, including those who have tried to bully me with name calling: I love you.
“I’ve long wanted to find a home for more faith-based programming. I am grateful to be an integral part of a young and growing network. I had also mentioned in my interview, which was not recorded, that people of all ethnicities and identities have contributed to the network in amazing ways, both in front of and behind the camera, which I encourage and fully support. I have never been interested in conversion through my stories, but in celebrating God’s greatness in our lives through the stories I tell.
The God we serve is an immensely creative and loving God. He has not only conquered a small part of my heart, He has conquered my whole heart. He will be reflected in everything I do and say; God’s love and God’s compassion are at the center of my family, my work, and my interactions with people from all walks of life. It all stems from the LOVE that God Himself poured out upon humanity when He bestowed the gift of joy and forgiveness on Christmas morning 2,000 years ago. That’s why I love Christmas stories and sharing true joy and true peace with millions of people around the world. And in the sole motivation of pure love, I hope you’ll join me in sharing God’s hope for the whole world this Christmas season. Call that my Christmas wish.”
Bure starred in dozens of holiday movies for the Hallmark channel before leaving in April and following former Hallmark CEO Abbott to GAF. Now she says her former home is “a very different network than when I started because of the leadership change.”
“My heart wants to tell stories that have more meaning, purpose and depth behind them,” she continued. “I knew that the people behind Great American Family were Christians who love the Lord and wanted to promote faith programming and good family entertainment.”
Bure in September spoke to Variety in detail about the move and whether the network would be diverse and inclusive – both in telling LGBTQ+ stories, but also in celebrating different religions, not just Christian holidays.
“This year we are definitely 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 that was Christmas and that traditional holidays and so that’s 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 any conversations about same-sex storylines, she told us, “We haven’t had those discussions specifically. That is not entirely up to me, because behind all those decisions there is a board, but that is of course discussed. And you know, we’ll see. We’ll see how it goes.”