candace cameron bure is responding to the reaction. Earlier this week, the actor, who serves as big american family‘s creative director, told “WSJ. Magazine” that the network will not feature LGBTQ couplesnoting, “I think the Great American Family will keep traditional marriage at the center,” he said.
CEO Bill Abbott added: “It is certainly the year 2022, so we are aware of the trends. There is no blackboard that says: ‘Yes, this’ or ‘No, we will never go here.’”
On Wednesday, Bure responded to the many criticisms of his comments in a lengthy statement:
“I would like to address my comments on the Great American Family programming as reported in ‘The Wall Street Journal.’ All of you who know me know without a doubt that I have a great love and affection for all people. It absolutely breaks my heart that anyone would think that I would intentionally want to offend and hurt someone. It saddens me that the media often seeks to divide us, even around a subject as comforting and joyful as Christmas movies. But, given the toxic climate in our culture right now, it shouldn’t surprise me. We need Christmas more than ever,” she wrote. “I am a devout Christian. Which means that I believe that every human being bears the image of God. Therefore, 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 great love for all of us.”
He continued: “To those members of the media responsible for taking this opportunity to fan the flames of conflict and hate, I have a simple message: I love you all the same. To those who hate what I value and attack 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 intimidate me with insults, I love you.
“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 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 fully encourage and support. I have never been interested in proselytizing through my stories, but in celebrating the greatness of God in our lives through the stories I tell.
The God we serve is a tremendously creative and loving God. He didn’t just capture a small part of my heart, He captured my whole heart. He will see himself reflected in everything he does and says; In my family, my work, and my interactions with people from all walks of life, God’s love and God’s compassion are front and center. All of that comes from the LOVE that God himself poured out on humanity when he delivered the gift of joy and forgiveness on the first Christmas morning 2000 years ago. That’s why I love Christmas stories and sharing true joy and true peace with millions of people around the world. And with 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 it my Christmas wish.
Bure starred in dozens of Christmas movies over the years for the distinctive channel before leaving in April and followed former Hallmark CEO Abbott to GAF. Now, he says his former home “is a completely different network than when I started because of the change in leadership.”
“My heart wants to tell stories that have more meaning, purpose, and depth behind them,” she continued. “I knew it the people behind the Great American Family were Christians who love the Lord and want to promote faith programming and good family entertainment.”
In September, Bure I talk to Variety in depth about the movement and whether the network would be diverse and inclusive, both in telling LGBTQ+ stories and in celebrating different religions, not just Christian holidays.
“This year, we are absolutely focusing on Christmas. I’m sure as the channel continues to create content it will include other holidays but I think we know the core audience and what they love is exactly how Bill originally created the Hallmark Channel and that was Christmas and those traditional holidays. and that is what the focus is going to be,” he said at the time. “You have to start somewhere. You can’t do everything at once.”
When asked if there were conversations about same-sex stories being had, he told us: “We haven’t had those conversations specifically. That is not completely up to me, because there is a board that is behind all those decisions, but of course it will be talked about. And you know, we’ll see. We’ll see how it goes.”