Candace Cameron Bure under fire for saying new network will not feature gay couples

Candace Cameron Bure has come under fire for saying the new TV network she has joined will not feature same-sex couples in starring roles, with One Tree Hill actress Hilarie Burton leading the criticism by labeling her a ‘bigot.’

In an interview with the Wall Street Journal, Bure revealed she expected the Great American Family network, the media company she is now making Christmas movies with, will ‘keep traditional marriage at the core.’

Bure, 46, had long been the star of numerous Hallmark holiday films but recently departed the network for Great American Family, which WSJ described as ‘the God-and-country alternative for holiday entertainment.’

Speaking out: Burton was among those criticizing Bure for her remarks

Controversy: Candace Cameron Bure has come under fire after saying the new TV network she has joined will not feature same-sex couples in starring roles – with Hilarie Burton calling her a ‘bigot’

‘With a name that conjures red-state pride and content that embraces faith, the channel is presenting itself as the choice for Christians who think Hollywood is ruining Christmas,’ writes WSJ of the network.

Candace said she was yearning to shoot films with ‘more meaning’ and aligned herself with Great American Family due to their vision for faith-based programming.

‘My heart wants to tell stories that have more meaning and purpose and depth behind them. I knew that the people behind Great American Family were Christians that love the Lord and wanted to promote faith programming and good family entertainment,’ she said in the profile.

Bill Abbott, the chief executive at Great American Media who previously held that same role at the parent company of Hallmark Channel, referred to Candace as a ‘key piece in what we’re doing.’

Hallmark staple: Bure, 46, had long been the star of numerous Hallmark holiday films but recently departed the network for Great American Family, which WSJ described as 'the God-and-country alternative for holiday entertainment'

Hallmark staple: Bure, 46, had long been the star of numerous Hallmark holiday films but recently departed the network for Great American Family, which WSJ described as ‘the God-and-country alternative for holiday entertainment’

Holiday spirit: Bure pictured in a Hallmark Christmas film

Holiday spirit: Bure pictured in a Hallmark Christmas film

Abbott departed Crown Media Family Networks in early 2020 after the network pulled four ads for wedding planning website Zola which featured a lesbian couple kissing on their wedding day. The ad was reinstated and Hallmark apologized to viewers following a backlash. No explanation was given for his departure.

Speaking of including same-sex couples in Great American Family films, he told WSJ: ‘It’s certainly the year 2022, so we’re aware of the trends.’

‘There’s no whiteboard that says, “Yes, this” or “No, we’ll never go here.”‘

Hallmark released its first film with a gay couple prominently featured, The Christmas House, in 2020.

Burton was among those slamming Candace Cameron Bure on Twitter after her interview was published

Burton was among those slamming Candace Cameron Bure on Twitter after her interview was published

Hitting out: Burton called Bure a 'bigot' following the remarks

Hitting out: Burton called Bure a ‘bigot’ following the remarks

It was announced in April that Candace had inked a deal with GAC Media to ‘develop, produce, and star in movies and television programming across GAC Family and GAC Living’, Variety reported.

Actress Hilarie Burton was among those slamming Candace Cameron Bure on Twitter after her interview was published.

‘Bigot,’ she tweeted. ‘I don’t remember Jesus liking hypocrites like Candy. Sure. Make your money, honey. You ride that prejudice wave all the way to the bank,’ she wrote.

She also called out Abbott in a separate tweet slamming his remarks calling LGTBQ a ‘trend.’

Backlash: Twitter users expressed their displeasure after the publication of Bure's remarks

Backlash: Twitter users expressed their displeasure after the publication of Bure’s remarks

‘Now they’re just openly admitting their bigotry,’ Hilarie also wrote in a separate tweet. ‘I called this s**t 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.’

Numerous others also expressed their displeasure with Bure’s remarks.

‘Am i the only one that thinks that the statement made by @candacecbure on leaving the @hallmarkchannel just screams homophobic? I’m so tired of this woman hiding her homophobia behind her “Christian values”,’ one Twitter user posted.

‘What a hateful individual #candacecameronbure is ! Thanks for declaring #GreatAmericanFamily anti gay and for the #trumpers only,’ another tweeted.

This is certainly not the first time Bure has faced backlash online.

Last year Bure was criticized over the people she followed on social media – however she insisted ‘a follow does not mean an endorsement.’

Addressing the outrage last year, she said on an Instagram Story: ‘I read several comments from people … that were disappointed or told me that they were unfollowing me because of the people I choose to follow on Instagram,’ Bure said. ‘And it’s always strange to me because I follow a very broad range of people — politically, within my work industry and then personal friends and things I like. But a follow does not mean an endorsement.’

Bure – who follows political figures such as President Joe Biden, Barack Obama, Melania Trump, and Candace Owens – insisted having a diverse group of voices to follow doesn’t mean she is alignment with ‘everything they say and do’.

‘It just means I follow a broad range of people so that I have perspective,’ she said. ‘I want to know what’s going on in the world, I want to hear different sides of the argument. I follow people in entertainment that I don’t necessarily agree with or act the same way, but I want to hear what our society, what culture is dishing out.’

‘I follow left and right, but it doesn’t make my blood boil,’ the actress added. ‘I don’t get angry at it. So maybe it’s healthy for some of you not to follow people you disagree with. But it doesn’t upset me. It just gives me perspective.’

Backlash: Last year Bure was criticized over the people she followed on social media - however she insisted 'a follow does not mean an endorsement'

Backlash: Last year Bure was criticized over the people she followed on social media – however she insisted ‘a follow does not mean an endorsement’

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