Candace Cameron Bure Explains Her Controversial GAF Christmas Movie Quotes After Public Backlash

Hallmark star Candace Cameron Bure has been under fire for her recent comments regarding one of the reasons why she left the Hallmark Channel to be the chief creative officer of Great American Family. While speaking to the Wall Street Journal, she spoke about the decision not to feature LGBTQ+ stories on her network and focus on “traditional marriage” instead. After the comments led to viral backlash from the public, including JoJo Siwa and other celebrities, Bure is responding. 

The actress took to her Instagram story Wednesday afternoon to address the public backlash. Here’s what she said: 

I would like to address my comments on Great American Family’s programming as reported in The Wall Street Journal. All of you who know me, know beyond question that I have great love and affection for all people. It absolutely breaks my heart that anyone would ever think I intentionally would want to offend and hurt anyone. It saddens me that the media is often seeking to divide us, even around a subject as comforting and merry as Christmas movies. But, given the toxic climate in our culture right now, I shouldn’t be surprised. We need Christmas more than ever. I am a devoted Christian. Which means that I believe that every human being 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 indiscriminately. My heart yearns to build bridges and bring people one step closer to God, to love others well, and to simply be a reflection of God’s huge love for all of us.

Since the WSJ article was published a couple days ago, it has grabbed the attention of many who didn't like her comments, including JoJo Siwa, who is part of the LGBTQ+ community and criticized the actress for being “rude and hurtful to a whole community of people.” Ex-Hallmark star Hilarie Burton called Bure a “bigot” and told her she could “ride that prejudice wave” to the bank. Bure’s comments continue as follows: 

To the members of the media responsible for using this opportunity to fan flames of conflict and hate, I have a simple message: I love you anyway. To those who hate what I value and who are attacking me online: I love you. To those who have tried to assassinate my character: I love you. To everyone reading this, of any race, creed, sexuality, or political party, including those who have tried to bully me with name-calling, I love you.

Candace Cameron Bure, who starred in ten holiday films over thirteen years with Hallmark, shocked fans earlier this year when she announced she’d be leaving the network for Great American Family, which she signed a deal for soon after. Bure’s comments on the recent controversy subsequently included this: 

I have 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 expressed in my interview, which was not included, that people of all ethnicities and identities have and will continue to contribute to the network in great ways both in front of and behind the camera, which I encourage and fully support. I’ve never been interested in proselytizing through my storytelling, but in celebrating God’s greatness in our lives through the stories I tell.

Bure concluded her comments by saying that her love of God will be “reflected in everything” she does and says. The actress shared that this is why she loves Christmas stories and her “Christmas wish” is for others to join her in “sharing God’s hope for all the world this Christmas season.” Bure’s comments come shortly after her daughter called the media “absolutely vile” for allegedly twisting the narrative on Bure’s comments. 

The key quote that Candace Cameron Bure said that sparked outrage was “I think that Great American Family will keep traditional marriage at the core.” CEO Bill Abbott followed up those comments by saying that he and GAF are aware of the 2022 trends and “there’s no whiteboard” that says they will and won’t go to certain places with their content. 

When Bure exited Hallmark, she followed the network’s former CEO Bill Abbott, who refused to air a Zola commercial featuring brides kissing on the network in 2019, leading to the trending hashtag #BoycottHallmark. Hallmark then issued an apology, and featured the ad on their network and not long after, Abbott left. 

In recent years, the Hallmark channel has been producing more LGBTQ+ programming, with its first queer couple in 2020. Hallmark’s LGBTQ+ inclusion has led to backlash from some groups, but the network remains committed to telling more diverse stories. You can check out what upcoming Hallmark movies are on the way next.  

Sarah El-Mahmoud
Staff Writer

Sarah El-Mahmoud has been with CinemaBlend since 2018 after graduating from Cal State Fullerton with a degree in Journalism. In college, she was the Managing Editor of the award-winning college paper, The Daily Titan, where she specialized in writing/editing long-form features, profiles and arts & entertainment coverage, including her first run-in with movie reporting, with a phone interview with Guillermo del Toro for Best Picture winner, The Shape of Water. Now she's into covering YA television and movies, and plenty of horror. Word webslinger. All her writing should be read in Sarah Connor’s Terminator 2 voice over.