Candace Cameron Bure’s pledge to emphasize “traditional marriage” in her work isn’t sitting well with fellow actor Hilarie Burton.
Earlier this year, Bure announced she was leaving the Hallmark Channel ― her professional home for more than 14 years ― to join a more conservative network, Great American Family. When asked if viewers can expect the network’s programming to include stories about LGBTQ people, the “Fuller House” actor said no.
“I think that Great American Family will keep traditional marriage at the core,” she told The Wall Street Journal in an interview published Monday.
Her remarks drew a frosty response from Burton, who has appeared in a number of Hallmark’s original movies over the years.
“Bigot,” Burton wrote on Twitter Monday evening. “I don’t remember Jesus liking hypocrites like Candy. But sure. Make your money, honey. You ride that prejudice wave all the way to the bank.”
The “One Tree Hill” actor also called out former Hallmark CEO Bill Abbott, who co-founded Great American Family last year.
“Now they’re just openly admitting their bigotry,” Burton tweeted. “I called this shit out years ago when Abbott was at Hallmark. Glad they dumped him. Being LGBTQ isn’t a ‘trend.’ That guy and his network are disgusting. You too Candy. There is nothing untraditional about same-sex couples.”
The Hallmark Channel has taken a number of small, but significant, steps toward diversifying its programming in recent years. In 2020, the network unveiled “The Christmas House,” its first original holiday film to feature a same-sex couple. One of that film’s stars, Jonathan Bennett, will appear next month in “The Holiday Sitter,” Hallmark’s first Christmas movie with a gay romance at its center.
Bure, who has sparked the ire of the LGBTQ community on more than one occasion, has never singled out the network’s efforts to include queer stories as her impetus for leaving. Speaking to Variety in September, she said it was simply a business decision.
Candace Cameron Bure in 2020.
“It just so happened that my contract was expiring when Great American Family started up,” said Bure, who has more than two dozen Hallmark movies to her credit. “So we did not start having those discussions until we were well into negotiations with Hallmark Channel for renewing. And as every business person knows, you’ve got to do what’s right for contracts. It didn’t work out with Hallmark and so we started talking to Bill [Abbott].”
In her chat with the Journal this week, Bure said she hoped that Great American Family would allow her to produce films with “more meaning and purpose and depth behind them.”
“I knew that the people behind Great American Family were Christians that love the Lord,” she explained, “and wanted to promote faith programming and good family entertainment.”