Candace Cameron Bure speaks out on gay Christmas movies, blaming controversy on ‘toxic climate’: ‘I’m called to love everyone, and I do’ – Variety | Episode Movies

Candace Cameron Bure responds to the backlash. Earlier this week, the actor, who serves as Great American Family’s chief creative officer, told “WSJ. Magazine” that the network will not feature LGBTQ couples, noting, “I think Great American Family will keep traditional marriage at its core,” she said.

CEO Bill Abbott added: “It’s certainly 2022, so we’re aware of the trends. There’s no whiteboard that says ‘Yes, that’ or ‘No, we’re never going to get here’.”

On Wednesday, Bure responded to the widespread criticism of her comments in a lengthy statement:

“I would like to address my comments on the Great American Family program as reported in The Wall Street Journal. All who know me know without question that I have great love and affection for all people. It absolutely breaks my heart that anyone would ever think I was intentionally trying to offend and hurt someone. It saddens me that the media often tries to divide us, even when it comes to a topic as comforting and happy as Christmas movies. But given the toxic climate in our culture right now, I shouldn’t be surprised. We need Christmas more than ever,” she wrote. “I am a devoted Christian. This means that I believe that every human being is made in the image of God. For this reason I am called to love all people and I do that. If you know me, you know that I am a person who loves fiercely and indiscriminately. My heart longs to build bridges and bring people one step closer to God, to love others well and just be a reflection of God’s great love for us all.”

She continued, “To those members of the media responsible for using this opportunity to stir up conflict and hatred, I have a simple message: I love you anyway. To those who hate what I love and who attack me online: I love you. To those who tried to murder my character: I love you. To everyone reading this, regardless of race, creed, sexuality, or political party, including those who have tried to abuse me: I love you.

“I have long wanted to find a home for more faith-based programs. I am grateful to be part of a young and growing network. I had also expressed in my interview, which was not included, that people of all ethnicities and identities both on and off camera have contributed and will continue to contribute in great ways to the network, which I encourage and fully support. I have never been interested in proselytizing through my storytelling, but in celebrating God’s greatness in our lives through the stories I tell.

The God we serve is a wildly creative and loving God. He didn’t just capture a small part of my heart, He captured my whole heart. It will be reflected in everything I do and say; God’s love and compassion are central to my family, my work, and my interactions with people from all walks of life. All of this comes from the LOVE that God Himself poured out upon mankind when He gave the gift of joy and forgiveness on Christmas morning 2000 years ago. That’s why I love Christmas stories and share true joy and peace with millions of people around the world. And in the sole motivation of pure love, I hope you will join me in sharing God’s hope for the whole world this Christmas season. Call that my Christmas wish.”

Bure starred in dozens of holiday films for the Hallmark Channel over the years before exiting in April and following former Hallmark CEO Abbott to GAF. Now she says her former home “is a very different network than it was when I was there because of the leadership change.”

“My heart wants to tell stories that have more meaning and purpose and depth,” she continued. “I knew the people behind Great American Family were Christians who loved the Lord and wanted to promote faith programs and good family entertainment.”

In September, Bure spoke up diversity detailed about the move and whether the network would be diverse and inclusive – both in telling LGBTQ+ stories and celebrating different faiths, not just Christian holidays.

“This year we are absolutely focused on Christmas. I’m sure the channel will include other holidays as it continues to create content, but I think we know the core audience and what they love is exactly how Bill originally built the Hallmark Channel and that was Christmas and those traditional holidays and so forth which will be the focus,” she said at the time. “You have to start somewhere. You can’t do everything at once.”

When asked if there would be talks about same-sex storylines, she told us, “We didn’t specifically have those discussions. It’s not entirely up to me because there is a board that stands behind all these decisions, but of course it’s talked about. And you know, we’ll see. We’ll see how it goes.”

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