Candace Cameron Bure starred in thirty Hallmark Channel movies, ten of which were Christmas films. Many of her fans were surprised when she announced last April that she was leaving Hallmark Media to develop, produce, and star in projects for the new traditional family-oriented network Great American Family.

Now she has explained her career move in an interview with the Wall Street Journal: “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.”

By contrast, Hallmark will release The Holiday Sitter next month, the network’s first original film to focus on a same-sex couple. Bure has no plans to follow suit: “I think that Great American Family will keep traditional marriage at the core.”

While Bure did not touch on her departure from the Hallmark Channel, she did say, “It basically is a completely different network than when I started because of the change of leadership.”

I know that in the past Hallmark was a Christian motivated company as I met Mr. Hall and members of the Hallmark family when they purchased the Christian card company Dayspring in 1999. My company at the time, Care & Share Products was the distributor of Dayspring cards and gifts in Australia. Hallmark had a distributor in Australia so I was concerned that I would lose distribution of Dayspring in Australia. Dayspring called for a meeting with all of its international distributors in Siloam Springs, Arkansas to explain what the acquisition of Dayspring by Hallmark would entail particularly with regard to its international operations. It was encouraging for all the international distributors to hear from Mr. Hall that nothing would change with Dayspring. It would be managed as an independent entity. Hallmark was at the time wholly owned by the Hall family and the Hallmark employees. If an employee left the company they had to sell their share back to the company. I am not sure if that is still the case. This radical change with Hallmark jettisoning Christian values leads me to believe that the Hall family is no longer in control.

Predictably, Bure is being criticized by some in the industry. Actress Hilarie Burton Morgan slammed her as “disgusting” and a “bigot,” adding, “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.” Dancer and actress JoJo Siwa called Bure’s stance “rude and hurtful to a whole community of people.” Siwa shared her thoughts on Instagram. “Honestly, I can’t believe after everything that went down just a few months ago, that she would not only create a movie with intention of excluding LGBTQIA+, but then also talk about it in the press,” she wrote.

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