Hallmark Channel holiday movies might be full of hunks and holiday cheer, but there aren’t any openly LGBTQ characters—until now.
As NewNowNext previously reported, the Christmas-obsessed cable net came under fire back in July when it announced a slate of 40 new original holiday movies that will hit cable later this year, but none of the titles featured an LGBTQ lead character or storyline. According to Newsweek, Hallmark would be making announcements in the near future about “projects featuring LGBTQ storylines, characters, and actors.”
“Diversity and inclusion is a top priority for us and we look forward to making some exciting programming announcements in the coming months, including announcements about projects featuring LGBTQ storylines, characters, and actors,” said George Zaralidis, vice president of network program publicity at Crown Media Family Networks, Hallmark’s parent company. “We are committed to creating a Hallmark experience where everyone feels welcome.”
The network has now released the plots and casts for its upcoming 40 original holiday movies, and one of them, The Chistmas House, features a gay couple and their journey to adopt a child.
The Christmas House premieres November 22 on the Hallmark Channel and it stars Robert Buckley, Jonathan Bennett, Ana Ayora, Treat Williams, Sharon Lawrence, and Brad Harder. The official synopsis reads:
Working through some difficult decisions, Wade family matriarch Phylis (Lawrence) and patriarch Bill (Williams), have summoned their two grown sons—TV star Mike Wade (Buckley) and Brandon Wade (Bennett)—home for the holidays. It is their hope that bringing the family together to recreate the Christmas house will help them find resolution and make a memorable holiday for the entire family and community. As Brandon and his husband Jake (Harder) make the trip home, they are anxiously awaiting a call about the adoption of their first child. Meanwhile, Mike reconnects with Andi (Ayora), his high school sweetheart.
“Our holiday table is bigger and more welcoming than ever. This year’s movies reflect our most diverse representation of talent, narratives, and families, including The Christmas House, featuring a storyline about a gay couple looking to adopt their first child, and starring Jonathan Bennett in an ensemble cast,” said Michelle Vicary, EVP, Programming. “Our movies are rooted in warmth and positivity, meaningful connections, family gatherings, and seasonal traditions—a winning formula we hope will bring our millions of viewers much-needed levity and holiday cheer at the end of a tough year.”
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@iamdebbiem & @cameronmathison are joined by @thesarahdrew to help unveil the 40 new movies coming your way on @hallmarkchannel & @hallmarkmovie, plus more experiences to enjoy this holiday season! ✨ . Watch for some new and some favorite #HallmarkStars starting OCT 23 as part of #CountdownToChristmas & #MiraclesOfChristmas. For the full lineup tap COUNTDOWN TO CHRISTMAS in the link in our bio. . #christmasinvienna #christmasmovies #hallmarkmovies #tradition #merrychristmas #holidays #hallmarkmoviesandmysteries #hallmarkchannel #homeandfamilytv
Hallmark isn’t the only cable net making the yuletide gayer. Last month, Lifetime unwrapped the plot details for its upcoming movie, The Christmas Set-Up. The movie will tell the story of Hugo and Patrick, two former high school friends who fall for each other when Hugo returns to his hometown, Milwaukee.
In addition to Christmas House, Hallmark Channel also featured its first same-sex wedding in one of its recent original movies, Wedding Every Weekend.
The Chrsitmas House premieres November 22 on Hallmark Channel.