Hilarie Burton Slams Hallmark Channel’s “Bigotry” & Puts Their Christmas Movies On Blast

Photo: Paul Archuleta/FilmMagic.
Holidays at the Hallmark Channel aren’t off to the happiest start. 
After the network pulled a string of ads featuring same-sex kissing between two women — a move that inspired a viral hashtag and a couple of disses on Saturday Night Live — actress Hilarie Burton spoke out about “bigotry” behind the scenes of Hallmark’s expansive Christmas movie universe.
On Sunday, Burton tweeted about why she decided not to star in a Hallmark film earlier this year. 
“Just going through some old emails from a #Hallmark job I was ‘let go’ from back in January,” Burton wrote. “I had insisted on a LGBTQ character, an interracial couple and diverse casting. 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. “Shitty being penalized for standing up for inclusivity. I really wanted that job. It was close to my house. It paid really well. It was about the military, which you all know I hold dear. But? I’d walk away again in a heartbeat. The bigotry comes from the top and permeates the whole deal over there.”
Burton said that with her husband’s financial and emotional support, she was able to stick to her morals. She turned instead to Lifetime, another long-standing Christmas movie juggernaut, and successfully hashed out a more inclusive deal over there.
“I’ve been loudly cheering for @lifetimetv all year because they heard my concerns + RALLIED!” she tweeted. “You want inclusive Christmas magic?! We got it. Love is love.”
Burton’s story is also a reminder that while Hallmark’s Christmas movie lineup is extensive, there are other places to get your sugary holiday rom-com fix this season. Streaming giants have stepped into the Christmas movie game: Hulu and Amazon Prime both have new and classic Christmas-themed films available on their platforms, and Netflix has its own original made-for-TV Christmas movie offerings. 
And, of course, there’s Lifetime’s slate of holiday movies. The network is debuting 28 new movies this year — including A Christmas Wish, which Burton stars in.

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