A couple of years ago, I had some fun (as did Saturday Night Live) at Hallmark Channel’s expense. It’s December if you haven’t noticed, meaning that network is now two months into their Countdown to Christmas movie extravaganza. And while the movie titles number in the several dozen (perhaps several hundred?), the whole block is the same old same-old: Charming setting, festive decorations everywhere, handsome male lead makes cute with pretty female lead… and little to no LGBT+ representation.
But if for one brief, shining moment, the thought of a slight change in that Countdown to Christmas formula was raised: Hallmark Channel CEO Bill Abbott, in a podcast talk with The Hollywood Reporter last month, indicated that the network was open to producing holiday movies with gay lead characters. Abbott’s passing statement resulted from the podcast’s hosts/interviewers challenging Abbott over Hallmark’s prioritizing content for a broad audience ahead of those that reflect the unique aspects of American society. Separately, Michelle Vicary, who heads the Hallmark-owned studio that produces these films for the network, indicated that they were “looking at pitches” for movies with LGBT+ characters.