Everyone who pays attention to the many movies on Hallmark and its sister station Hallmark Movies & Mysteries will know that the past several months have seen a few of the network’s stars sign up for deals with rival GAF to make movies, particularly to compete in the ever more crowded 2022 Christmas movies season. Candace Cameron Bure is one of the biggest names to have done so, and after she revealed recently why she made the switch, former Hallmark star Hilarie Burton went off on her reasoning.
What Did Hilarie Burton Say About Candace Cameron Bure’s Reason For Leaving Hallmark?
While it’s been many months since the Fuller House star decamped for GAF, with her having been one of the big stars of Hallmark, it makes sense that she would still be getting questions about the move. While speaking with the Wall Street Journal (via TVLine) recently, she noted that she wanted Christianity to be a focus of her holiday movies again and knew that GAF was on board for that. In addition, she noted that the up and coming channel would “keep traditional marriage at the core,” meaning that we will likely see no romances involving same sex couples in their programming.
Former Hallmark and One Tree Hill star Hilarie Burton fired back at the star on Twitter, and said:
The former Aurora Teagarden Mysteries star made her switch official back in April of this year, and it came months after other big Hallmark talents left the network behind for GAF, like Danica McKellar, Jen Lilley, and Trevor Donovan. While speaking with Variety back in September, Cameron Bure implied that her move was simply a business decision, explaining that her contract with her former Christmas movie home had ended and was being renegotiated right around the time when GAF (known at the time as GAC Family) came into being, adding that “you’ve got to do what’s right for contracts” and that it just “didn’t work out with Hallmark.”
There is obviously truth to that, as the actress won’t just be starring in films for the channel, but is, additionally, working behind the scenes as an executive who will help to produce other films and also shepherd the network’s content as a whole, making sure that it’s “trusted,” “wholesome,” and “family-friendly,” though she said at the time that anything about diversity in storytelling and casting hadn’t yet been decided and wasn’t fully up to her, anyway.
Bill Abbott, who helped launch GAF in 2021, had been the CEO of Hallmark’s parent company for 11 years, when a December 2019 controversy over a commercial showing a same sex wedding and kiss led to backlash which led to its removal, and then additional problems when they did take that ad down. He resigned a few weeks later, and Hallmark set about attempting to address the diversity issues that viewers had long complained about.
What Does Hilarie Burton Have To Do With Hallmark?
For those of you who may be new to the channel and the many upcoming Hallmark movies, you may be unaware that Burton, for a time, worked with the network. But, when the controversy erupted, she took to Twitter that December to open up about her experience with Abbott and the channel, and said she’d asked to have a potential project commit to “a LGBTQ character, an interracial couple and diverse casting,” but had to walk away in January 2019 when executives gave their notes on the script and none of her requests were respected.
She added that she was then told to “take it or leave it,” so she left Hallmark behind to work for Lifetime, which did honor what she wanted. In addition, the actress said about Hallmark at the time that “the bigotry comes from the top and permeates the whole deal over there,” which sounds like a shot at Abbott and other executives who were once in charge.
This all puts the rivalry between GAF and Hallmark in a new light, and there will likely be more to come as the weeks go on.
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