18 December 2019

The Hallmark skirmish

It was a battle won and lost at internet speed.  On December 14, the Hallmark Channel took down a few ads for the wedding-services website Zola which featured gay couples, following a campaign of protest by a fundie "organization" called "One Million Moms" (which, despite its name, seems to consist of a few AFA rabble-rousers with a fax machine and a few thousand Twitter followers).  Hard-core anti-gay Christians rejoiced that one media company was willing to "stand up to the gay agenda" -- that is, to cater to their need for the delusion of a world where nothing that bothers them is ever seen or allowed to exist.

Zola responded by pulling all its ads from Hallmark, and there was a substantial public backlash against the channel.  On December 16, after just two days, Hallmark repudiated its decision and announced that it would air the ads again.  The religionists were furious at the sudden evaporation of their triumph (do read the comments on that, if you're in a gloating mood).  One Million Moms called for a boycott of Hallmark.  Arch-bigot Bryan Fischer was whipped into a fine froth of outrage.  None of this will have any effect, and they know it.  Hallmark simply made a blunder under pressure and then corrected it -- they're not going to re-endorse that blunder now.

The corporate world's near-universal embrace of tolerance and acceptance in its advertising does not, of course, tell us what's in the hearts of corporate leaders, but that's not the point.  The point is that they know which way the cultural winds are blowing.  Their goal is to make money, and to that end, they need to be very aware of which groups they need to avoid offending, and which groups' fulminations they can safely ignore.  It's clear what conclusions they've drawn.

I don't know what the hard-core Christians are going to watch if even the Hallmark Channel is now too gay for them.  Maybe they can get Saudi Arabian TV via satellite?  The real problem with their dogged clinging to taboos which everyone else is increasingly abandoning is that it dooms them to an exhausting state of perpetual conflict with their environment.  Homosexuality and even gay marriage have pretty much become routine and unremarkable in mainstream culture.  The bigots' stance is like deciding to be outraged at the sight of doorknobs or trees -- they're setting themselves up for non-stop stress and agitation.  That's their choice, I suppose, but even their own younger generation doesn't seem eager to go on living that way.  The Hallmark skirmish may appear trivial, but it's an unmistakable signal to them that they've lost the war.


Blogger Sixpence Notthewiser said...

Oh the Talibangelists. Always trying to make their hatred and bigotry even bigger.
I was totally waiting for somebody to bring up the Hallmark debacle with the Zola ad. A lovely, funny, perfectly normal ad for a wedding planning app. But the Two Dozen Mom bigots got their panties in a bunch and used the tools of the devil (twitter and facebook) to drum up less than fifty thousand 'signatures' to make Hallmark pull the ad.
Now the xtianists are crying foul and saying Hallmark 'caved'. Caved to what? Decency? Equality?
Anything that's not bigotry is just so unfamiliar to these pious idiots....


BTW, great to read you!

18 December, 2019 03:11  
Blogger nothoughtsnoprayersnonothing said...

I know everyone is glad to see you back and posting.
I am so sorry to read of your loss and offer deepest sympathy.

There are many things we don't like and don't agree with. We don't have to like or agree with everything. That is our right. But how we go about it is important.
At this time of year it might be wise for me to inspect/scrutinize my own feelings and make sure I am giving others the same respect that I want.

Wishing you calmness and peace for the season and coming year.

18 December, 2019 04:00  
Blogger Debra She Who Seeks said...

"Not even capitalism wants you, fucknuts" -- hahahahahahaha! I'm glad Hallmark came to its senses. Hugs to you, my friend. Glad to see you posting again.

18 December, 2019 07:40  
Blogger Lady M said...

"Maybe they can get Saudi Arabian TV via satellite" - Ha cracking up over that. They have so much more in common than they realize. Good to have you back. I have missed you.

18 December, 2019 09:16  
Blogger Mary Kirkland said...

I think it's ridiculous that things like this still happen. There was nothing wrong with the ad.

I'm so very sorry to hear of your loss.

18 December, 2019 09:41  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

For your loss, I’m sorry.
For the fact that the internet has been perverted enough that you have to worry about morons, I’m angry.
For you to be able to soldier on without lasting pain, is my hope.

18 December, 2019 12:21  
Blogger Mike said...

It seems one group outvoted the other by a large margin.

18 December, 2019 14:33  
Blogger jono said...

Glad you are back and hope you are healing.
I do take some solace in seeing the Fundies lose their righteous indignation to what has become normal human activity to everyone else.

18 December, 2019 14:44  
Blogger jenny_o said...

That did have a fast turnaround, didn't it? I agree that among the young folks there seems to be less bigotry and more acceptance, and I am hopeful because of that.

I'm sorry for your loss. The absence of regrets is a huge positive at such a time. Wishing you peace as the dust settles.

18 December, 2019 16:18  
Blogger Victor said...

I'm so, so, glad you're posting again!

And I'm so, so, sorry for your troubles.

As for this Hallmark issue, it should be a 'tempest' in a teapot.'
There aren't even close to "One Million Mom's" in that homophobic malorganization!
Probably not even 100,000.
But despite that, however many there are, they do have power over Republicans - and the lobbyists the conservatives love (largely because they like campaign bribe... Uhm, sorry... Campaign CONTRIBUTIONS!

So, because of these uber-"Christians and their influence with conservative politicians, instead of 'a tempest in a teapost, wee keep getting hurricanes thanks to crackpots!!!

18 December, 2019 20:05  
Blogger Martha said...

It's great to have you back. I'm so sorry you have been going through such a hard time. My deepest sympathy.

It would be nice if people would just let others live their lives in peace without all the self righteous bullshit. But I have hope that the next generation will do even better. The world is changing whether people like it or not.

19 December, 2019 05:18  
Blogger Tommykey said...

In a post I did about such people some years ago, I compared them to the die hard Nazis scurrying amidst the rubble of Berlin in April of 1945 with their panzerfausts, trying to take out a few Soviet tanks in a battle that was already lost.

19 December, 2019 11:33  
Blogger Infidel753 said...

Sixpence: I think what they really mean is that Hallmark caved to reality. That's what they resent most of all.

No Thoughts: Thanks! I suppose our side is sometimes guilty of disrespect, but that's for ideas that honestly don't deserve any respect. Still a far cry from the stance of those who want others to be subject to legal discrimination or persecution for not living in accordance with an ancient and primitive taboo system.

Debra: We can see who Hallmark was most afraid of getting boycotted by. I think they know their market better than One and a Half Moms does.

Lady M: It's starting to dawn on some fundies that they really do have a lot in common with radical Muslims, but for most, the brand-name label is still too much of a barrier to overcome.

Mary: Thank you. This kind of thing doesn't happen much any more, but it's kind of worth it to see the bigots get swatted down.

Anon: Thanks, I appreciate it. I guess after 13 years of blogging I've seen how ugly some people can be on the internet. Not something I want to deal with right now, especially.

20 December, 2019 02:53  
Blogger Infidel753 said...

Mike: We're the majority now. Eventually they'll realize that.

Jono: Thanks. People who want to hold the modern world to the standards of a primitive society 3,000 years ago have to expect a lot of frustration.

Jenny_o: Generational turnover is a big part of why societies are becoming less religious. There will be far less of this shit in the future.

Victor: The religious crazies would be a lot less of a problem if it weren't for the Republican party, which is basically a theocratic party now. But their embrace of Trump has just made their hypocrisy impossible to avoid noticing any more, and the exodus of young people is accelerating because of it.

If this fiasco was the best hurricane they can whip up, I'm not impressed.

Martha: Thanks. I think deep down they realize the world is changing and they can't stop it. That's why they're always so angry and frustrated and bleating about how Jesus is going to come back and punish us or whatever.

Tommykey: It does fit rather well. In the long run they'll be remembered the same way -- committing absurdities in a last-ditch struggle to preserve tyranny.

20 December, 2019 03:07  
Blogger RO said...

I'm that person who has been watching the Hallmark Channel for years and years, particularly their Christmas Shows. I watch it so much that when they offered up a job to pay someone for watching the movies, I actually applied(didn't get it-lol) I also watch Lifetime and Netflix during this time. It's interesting to me that no one has noticed that the Hallmark Christmas movies have NEVER had same sex couples, nor have they used gay characters at all, so I wasn't surprised at how they acted initially. I was surprised, and very pleased, that they changed their stance and allowed the commercials. People are people in my book, and as Ellen said on Twitter, "it's almost 2020", there's no reason for people to judge who we love. I can't help but wonder what will happen with their characterizations in future Christmas movies. Hugs

20 December, 2019 03:32  
Anonymous Tengrain said...

Welcome back, Infidel753. It is an understatement to say that we missed you and that the usual suspects have been up to some unusual fuckery.

Thank you for the link! In the decade + I’ve been covering ol’ Rev. Fishsticks, I have never, ever, seen him that unglued.

Your pal,


20 December, 2019 12:49  
Blogger Infidel753 said...

RO: It's only a decade or two ago that a gay romance on mainstream TV would have been highly controversial. Some media companies just take longer to catch up with the times than others. I guess they're getting it now.

Tengrain: Thanks! I guess this little episode really showed His Fishiness that he's on the losing side -- if they can't keep the Hallmark Channel in line, where can they win?

20 December, 2019 17:13  
Blogger Jimbo said...

I am very sorry about your loss but, atr the same time, so glad you are posting again. Yours is a very broad-minded and intelligent voice that I always look forward to reading.

22 December, 2019 11:41  

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