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Hallmark has been light on original programming in recent weeks, but the crafty cabler did save a few original movies for the end of summer, including Wedding Every Weekend. This third movie following Romance in the Air and Love on Harbor Island has the distinction of also being the first big movie on the channel to openly show a gay wedding onscreen. Of course the Internet has thoughts.
The moves comes after Hallmark said it would take greater care to incorporate LGBTQ storylines into its narrative. At its heart Wedding Every Weekend still follows a same sex couple played by Kimberley Sustad and Paul Campbell, who realize they have to attend the same four weddings four weekends in a row, becoming “Wedding Buddies”… and then more. One of the weddings they attend is that of a same sex couple. Following the movie’s premiere over the weekend, people wrote about the Hallmark moment.
Some of the responses were from the LGBTQ community and as such were touching and deeply person. This woman who had already come out to her mother noted of Wedding Every Weekend:
Others took the TV opportunity as a way to share their pride and support for Hallmark’s decision with the movie.
Of course, when the Internet speaks out there can often be polarizing reactions, but as is typical of the Hallmark fandom, there was really a lot of support for Wedding Every Weekend here. LGBTQ characters have had minor roles or have been hinted at on the network in the past, but the wedding is a big step for the cabler to have taken.
Paul Campbell in footage promoting the movie said "love is love." Meanwhile, Makayla Moore, who played one of the ladies wedding in the same-sex marriage event, said of the role hitting Hallmark:
It really reflects the world we live in now. It’s exciting to celebrate love in all its forms.
To cap off the moment, a lot of people noted that not only was a wedding show, Hallmark also showed the traditional wedding kiss.
It wasn’t just the diversity of adding the LGBTQ couple into the fold, it was also the diversity of the types of weddings the two main characters attended that was a focal point for fans. A Jewish couple, an interracial couple and a Black couple all wed during the events of Wedding Every Weekend.
Hallmark has incorporated diversity into its movies previously. There are quite a few Black leads on the network and Alexa and Carlos PenaVega also have a good thing going on with making movies together for the channel. Plus, sometimes interracial couples and more are shown, and for the 2018 holiday season some Hanukkah movies were added to the lineup. However, I wouldn’t say diversity has been the biggest priority of the channel and its issues with incorporating LGBTQ themes and storylines in the past made headlines more than once.
Of course not everyone is happy about the changes the channel is making and watchdog group One Million Moms in particular has been vocal about the changes. However, that hasn’t seemingly deterred Hallmark's VP of Network Publicity George Zaralidis as he’s recommitted to promoting “diversity and inclusion” in future movies. We should be seeing more diverse original content coming up as productions resume just in time for Hallmark's holiday movie lineup to get rolling.