Hilarie Burton Says She Was ‘Let Go’ From Hallmark Holiday Movie After She ‘Insisted’ on More Inclusivity

“S—ty being penalized for standing up for inclusivity. I really wanted that job,” actress says

Last Updated: December 17, 2019 @ 7:49 AM

Hallmark Channel’s lack of inclusivity in its holiday programming continues to come under scrutiny.

Former “One Tree Hill” star Hilarie Burton wrote in a Twitter thread on Sunday that she was “let go” from one of the network’s holiday movies after asking for more diversity on the project.

“I had insisted on a LGBTQ character, an interracial couple and diverse casting,” she wrote. “I was polite, direct and professional. But after the execs gave their notes on the script and NONE of my requests were honored, I was told ‘take it or leave it.’ I left it. And the paycheck.”

She continued, “S—ty being penalized for standing up for inclusivity. I really wanted that job … [But] I’d walk away again in a heartbeat. The bigotry comes from the top and permeates the whole deal over there.”

A representative for Hallmark Channel parent company Crown Media did not immediately return TheWrap’s request for comment.

Burton’s tweets seem to come in response to the network’s since-reversed decision to pull ads featuring a same-sex couple kissing from its airwaves. Originally, Hallmark Channel said it would  pull commercials for the wedding planning website Zola that featured a lesbian couple after the conservative group One Million Moms called for a boycott of the network. At the time, the network said the “public displays of affection” were in violation of the channel’s policies, though it didn’t explain why the commercial featuring an opposite sex couple didn’t violate network policies.

After considerable public pressure, Hallmark Cards CEO Mike Perry issued a statement late Sunday night reversing the decision. “Hallmark is, and always has been, committed to diversity and inclusion – both in our workplace as well as the products and experiences we create,” Perry said.

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