Christian actress Candace Cameron Bure has responded to online criticism after telling a news outlet that she doesn’t expect her new network, The Great American Family, to include LGBT storylines in its Christmas movies, blaming the media for trying to create division.
Celebrities have taken to social media this week to criticize Bure, 46, who is best known for her role in the hit comedy film “Full House,” after she responded negatively when asked by The Wall Street Journal if there would be any same-sex stories in projects produced by Great American Family.
“I think Great American Family will keep traditional marriage at the center,” said Bure, 46, the chief creative officer of the Great American Family network — which aims to be a “God-and-country alternative to holiday entertainment.”
After receiving criticism from celebrities and LGBT advocacy group GLAAD (Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation), Bure responded in a Wednesday Instagram post. She said, “it breaks my heart that anyone would ever think that I would intentionally offend and hurt anyone.”
“It saddens me that the media often seeks to divide us, even around a subject as comforting and joyous as Christmas movies,” Bure continued. “But given the toxic climate of our culture right now, I shouldn’t be surprised. We need Christmas more than ever.”
As one of the more outspoken conservative Christian voices in Hollywood, Bure said she must follow her faith, which calls her to love all people “fiercely and indiscriminately.”
“To those members of the media responsible for using this opportunity to fuel conflict and hatred, I have a simple message: I still love you,” she wrote.
“To those who hate what I value and who attack me online: I love you. To those who have tried to assassinate my character: I love you. To everyone reading this, regardless of race, creed, sexuality or political party, including those who have tried to bully me with names, I love you.”
In response to her statement, several celebrities took to social media to criticize Bure’s comments.
Former “Dance Moms” star JoJo Siwa, who came out as gay in January 2021, expressed her disgust at Bure’s comment in an Instagram post on Tuesday. Siwa has previously accused Bure of being one of the “ruddiest” celebrities she has ever met.
“This is rude and hurtful to an entire community of people,” the 19-year-old dancer wrote.
“Honestly, I can’t believe after everything that went down just a few months ago that she would not only create a film with the intention of excluding LGBTQIA+, but then talk about it in the press.”
“One Tree Hill” actress Hilarie Burton Morgan called Bure a “Bigot” on social media on Monday.
“I don’t remember Jesus liking hypocrites like Candy,” Morgan said in one tweet. “But sure. Earn your money, honey. You’re riding that wave of prejudice all the way to the bank.”
A representative from the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) urged others in the entertainment industry to second-guess any plans to work with the Great American Family network. Since 2019, the advocacy group has been pushing for 20 percent of all TV characters to be LGBT by 2025.
“It is irresponsible and hurtful for Candace Cameron Bure to use tradition as a cover for exclusion,” Sarah Kate Ellis, GLAAD’s president and CEO, wrote Tuesday in a announcement.
“I would love to have a conversation with Bure about my wife, our children and our family’s traditions.”
Ellis also stated that if Great American Family plans to “intentionally exclude stories about LGBT couples, then actors, advertisers, cable and streaming platforms and production companies should take note and seriously consider whether they want to be associated with a network , which holds exclusion as one of its values.”
In her Instagram post Wednesday, Bure tried to shed light on the remarks she made in the Wall Street Journal interview.
“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 fully encourage and support.” Bure wrote.
“My heart wants to tell stories that have more meaning and purpose and depth behind them. I knew the people behind Great American Family were Christians who love the Lord and wanted to promote faith programming and good family entertainment.”
Bill Abbott, CEO of the great American family, did not seem to rule out the possibility of a same-sex story when interviewed by The Wall Street Journal.
“It is definitely the year 2022, so we are aware of the trends,” he said. “There’s no board that says, ‘Yes, this,’ or ‘No, we’ll never get here.’
In April, it was announced that GAC Media, a Texas-based company that owns Great American Family, hired Bure to curate programming and help develop the “Great American Christmas” franchise. At the time, Bure said she felt the company was a “perfect fit for my brand” because they “share a vision of creating compelling, wholesome content for an audience that wants to watch programming for and with the whole family.”
In October, the Great American Family cable network announced a lineup of 18 holiday movies, representing a 50% increase in the network’s holiday movie offerings in its second year. The network seeks to establish itself as a destination for original Christmas films.
Nicole Alcindor is a reporter for The Christian Post. She can be contacted at: [email protected]
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