Hallmark maintained its reputation as the network where romantic miracles can happen—but not in a good way—this week, by performing a high-profile vanishing act on a series of commercials from wedding planning site Zola. Said ads had the temerity/gall/etc. to show two women kissing each other at their wedding, in America, in 2019. As though that might be a thing that actually happens in real life, right?
Per The New York Times, the network reportedly caved like a stack of greeting cards to pressure from One Million Moms, an anti-LGBTQ rights organization that managed to fall about 975,000 moms short of its stated membership with a recent petition calling for the ads to be pulled. (Previous targets of the group’s homophobic windmill tilting have included the Muppets, Skittles, and Ellen.) But those 25,000 or so die-hard button clickers were still apparently enough to get the network to deem 4 of the 6 Zola ads—i.e., all of the ones that showed a same-sex couple getting married, natch—to be pulled, vanished as quickly as a manufactured third-act conflict in one of the network’s 8 million different Christmas movies.
A representative for the company claimed that it was put off by the ads’ “public displays of affection,” which took the form of two women kissing for roughly 1.5 seconds at their wedding, an event entirely based around displaying affection in a public fashion. (And also free bacon-wrapped shrimp.) As the Times notes, the company seemed just fine with the PDA in the other two ads, centered as they were on a heterosexual couple similarly sucking face. “We are not allowed to accept creatives that are deemed controversial,” a network representative stated, politely allowing the rest of us to fill in the blanks on what “controversial” in this case means.