I’ve loved Hallmark Channel’s Christmas movies for a long time. But there’d always been something missing: LGBTQ and Black storylines and characters.
Nobody’s world is that white and straight (and if it is, Santa is shaking his head in disgust). After the 2019 issue where Hallmark canned an ad featuring a lesbian couple, the backlash was loud.
While it’s still unknown what the company plans to actually do to make their movies more diverse, Hallmark Channel officials have promised that this year’s lineup of movies will be more diverse.
“Diversity and inclusion is a top priority for us and we look forward to making some exciting programming announcements in the coming months, including announcements about projects featuring LGBTQ storylines, characters, and actors,” George Zaralidis, the vice president of Crown Media Family Networks, told Out.com. “”We are committed to creating a Hallmark experience where everyone feels welcome.”
One of the movies planned for 2020 is called “Jingle Bell Pride.” Hmm…
OK, but this tweet is hilarious:
What are your thoughts for an LGBTQ storyline?
I’m thinking … Mark, a NYC marketing exec, heads home to his Midwestern roots of Noel, Ohio. When he gets home, he learns that his parents plan on selling their beloved vintage Christmas ornaments shop to a developer who plans to raze the block — including the area where the town lights its Christmas tree — and build 200 condominiums. Mark’s NYC boyfriend Ethan planned on catching a plane a few days later but a snowstorm hindered his plans. But in the meantime, Mark catches up with high school classmate Jake who owns the Eggnog Cafe next door and is trying to save the town’s businesses — because without the vintage Christmas ornaments shop and the town’s holiday-themed stores, Noel will have nothing! … I won’t ruin the rest for ya.
Or… Mark, a struggling Broadway actor, hasn’t been home to Mistletoe in a few years. And this year, after show he was in closed early, Mark decides to head home to see his parents. When he gets home, he soon learns that the director of the community center’s traditional “Winter Show” — a performance that sparked Mark’s interest in theater — abruptly left, leaving the show on the verge of cancellation for the first time in 67 years. While eating Christmas cookies at the Snickerdoodle Diner with his mother, who is the board president of the community center, Mark sees Jake, an old classmate and ex-boyfriend. They haven’t seen each other since high school and only broke up because Mark dreamed of a career on Broadway. Mark and Jake say hello but Jake is in a rush to get to work and the two promise to catch up. Later, after reluctantly agreeing to direct the show, Mark is blown away by the talented lead of the show, Aubrey. And it just so happens that Aubrey’s dad is single … and is Jake. squee!
Who knows what’s planned, but my story plots above aren’t far-fetched at all. Both of them are pretty similar to exactly 1.4 million other Hallmark Channel movies. And I’ve seen them all exactly 1.4 million times.
Check out the list of some of the movies Hallmark will premiere in 2020 on Hallmark Channel and Hallmark Movies & Mysteries:
“A Royal Holiday”
Stars: Laura Osnes, Aaron Tveit, and Krystal Joy Brown
“Jingle Bell Pride”
Stars: Julia Gonzalo and Ronnie Rowe
“A Christmas Tree Grows in Brooklyn”
Stars: Rochelle Aytes and Mark Taylor
“If I Only Had Christmas”
Stars: Candace Cameron Bure
“Deliver by Christmas”
Stars: Alvina August and Eion Bailey
“On the 12th Date of Christmas”
Stars: Mallory Jansen and Tyler Hynes
Stars: Lacey Chabert
“Christmas in Vienna”
Stars: Sarah Drew and Brennan Elliott
“Christmas in Evergreen 4”
Stars: Rukiya Bernard and Holly Robinson Peete
Stars: Merritt Patterson and Luke Macfarlane
“Cross Country Christmas”
Stars: Rachel Leigh Cook
Stars: Tamera Mowry-Housley
“When Calls the Heart Christmas 2020”
Stars: Erin Krakow, Pascale Hutton, Jack Wagner, Kavan Smith
“Christmas Tree Lane”
Stars: Alicia Witt and Andrew Walker
“Holly & Ivy”
Stars: Janel Parrish, Jeremy Jordan, and Marisol Nichols
“The Christmas Bow”
Stars: Lucia Micarelli and Michael Rady
Stars: Nikki DeLoach and Benjamin Ayres
Stars: Holly Robinson Peete