If you thought Last Christmas would have been improved if both leads were played by Henry Golding (kinky!), then the Hallmark Channel has some good news for you. Gay Christmas movies could soon be headed to a small screen near you.
According to Hallmark Channel CEO Bill Abbott, the network is “open” to featuring same-sex romances in its seasonal Yuletide offerings. “We're open to really any type of movie of any type of relationship in any space,” he told co-host Daniel Fienberg on The Hollywood Reporter’s “TV's Top 5” podcast last week.
The question was raised in response to a recent report from The Wrap indicating that there isn’t a single major LGBTQ+ character in Hallmark’s 2019 Christmas lineup. This year’s roster, which began rolling out in late October, includes Christmas at Graceland: Home for the Holidays (with Adrian Grenier and Priscilla Presley), Write Before Christmas (with Chad Michael Murray), A Christmas Love Story (with Kristin Chenoweth and Scott Wolf), and Christmas in Rome (with Lacey Chabert).
Although vice president of programming for Crown Media Family Networks (which produces Hallmark’s movies) Michelle Vicary says the network is “looking at pitches for [LGBTQ+] movies,” there are no current plans to air a gay-themed film on the channel. It may prove a tough sell, as Hallmark has among the most conservative viewerships of any network on TV.
Despite the fact that a gay-themed Hallmark movie is just a wish and a prayer at this point, right-wing news sites have already started losing their collective minds over even the possibility of LGBTQ+ people on their screens.
For instance, a petition launched by LifeSiteNews — a “pro-family” website which has made anti-LGBTQ+ hand-wringing into a cottage industry — urges Hallmark to “keep sex and sexual practices — including the promotion of homosexuality, transgenderism, etc. — out of [its] movies.”
“Hallmark would be offending Christian viewers and Christian parents BIG TIME, by experimenting with homosexual themes, and, or cooperating with the LGBT indoctrination agenda, at all,” reads the petition, which was launched Monday. “By doing so, Hallmark would risk losing a big part of their market — because people just couldn't be sure of what to expect.”
“And, Hallmark should also know that if they give-in to the LGBT agenda, the LGBT activists will never be satisfied,” the site adds. “They will always want Hallmark to be pushing more and more aberrant views and characters. That doesn't sound like a very fun Christmas movie at all!”
The petition has garnered 6,000 signatures at the time of publication.
The comments were also picked up by sites like Hot Air, PJ Media, and Godfather Politics, which accused the family-friendly network of “[bowing] to LGBTQ activists” and the “diversity police.” That’s a lot of bluster for a movie that doesn’t even exist.
Should Hallmark begin production on a holiday film with LGBTQ+ characters, it would just be catching up to where the market already is. Lifetime’s Twinkle All the Way and Netflix’s Let It Snow both feature same-sex romances, while Freeform announced plans to release a gay romcom just in time for Valentine’s Day.
The Yuletide isn’t just getting queerer on TV, either. Kristen Stewart (Charlie’s Angels) and Mackenzie Davis (Tully) are starring in a lesbian Christmas movie due out in 2020.
But while Hallmark decides whether or not it wants to join 2019 with a hypothetical, not-even-produced gay Christmas movie, everyone just needs to chill out, have a glass of egg nog, and think about Henry Golding making out with himself. You know you’d watch, you beautiful weirdoes.