Hallmark movies are a traditional staple in the American Christmas season diet, so it’s no wonder they are suddenly coming under attack from the left.
CEO of Hallmark’s parent Crown Media Family Networks, Bill Abbott identified some “problematic” statistics when it comes to the diversity of their seasonal cinematic selection.
“Of the network’s record 24 original holiday movies this season, four of them have black leads,” noted The Hollywood Reporter. “And that’s down from last year, when five of its 21 original holiday movies had black leads.”
While Abbot notes the discrepancy in minority leads, he also claims that it’s unfair to say that Hallmark only has “Christmas with white leads.”
“I think that generalization isn’t fair either, that we just have Christmas with white leads,” Abbott said in an interview. “In terms of broadening out the demographic, it’s something we’re always thinking about, always considering and we’ll continue to make the movies where the best scripts are delivered to us and what we think have the most potential.”
But aside from having few people of color represented in their films, Hallmark also stands accused of snubbing other religions. Despite promising to produce two Chanukah movies, (“Holiday Date” and “Double Holiday”) the company failed to mention anything about the religion in the title of their movies. While some might see this as a problem, Abbot claims that they are simply not making religion a central theme in their films.
“It’s hard if we start to slice up the pie, so to speak, and make movies based off of specific holidays,” he stated. “So, if we were to look at Kwanzaa, for example, or other religions and how they celebrate the holidays it’s a little bit more difficult because we don’t look at Christmas from a religious point of view, it’s more a seasonal celebration. [O]nce you start to slice it more finely within individual religions it’s a little bit tougher to necessarily tell that story in a way that doesn’t involve religion and we always want to stay clear of religion or controversy.”
While some would argue that religion, and specifically Jesus Christ are the reason for the season, Abbot contends that Christmas has become more of a “secular holiday.”
“I think Christmas has become almost a secular type of holiday more than Hanukkah, which really does have more of a religious feel. I think Hanukkah, from a religious point of view, is not necessarily as commercial and not necessarily as much about gift giving and it’s really about what those eight nights signify from the religious point of view. So I’m not ruling it out as something we would not do but this is kind of our first foray into this type of double holiday mix with a lot of Hanukkah in both movies [and] a lot of the celebration of how those nights are celebrated and experienced by those who practice the religion.”
With the progressive attack on Christmas going strong, it can be extremely difficult to shop according to your beliefs. Luckily, BizPac Review recently reported on the American Family Association’s “Naughty or Nice” list that identifies “Christmas-friendly” retailers. This list is aimed at those who don’t view Christmas as a holiday that is more about spending money than spending time with family, and also hopes to help people shop in a way that reflects their views.
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