Speaking up for her friends, actress Danica McKellar, amid ongoing controversy, searches for common ground between colleagues at her new television home, the Great American Family (commonly known as GAC), and on her former network, the Hallmark Channel.
Over the weekend, McKellar defended current colleague Candace Cameron Bure, saying she thinks her recent comments about GAC prioritizing “traditional marriage” storylines over scripts starring LGBTQ+ couples have been misinterpreted by many, including actor Neal Bledsoe, who Leaves GAC over controversy. Meanwhile, McKellar has been vocal in support of Hallmark’s first-ever starring romantic comedy, The Holiday Sitter, which debuted Sunday. Here’s what you need to know:
Danica McKellar stands up for Candace Cameron Bure and says Neal Bledsoe misinterpreted her words
McKellar spent the weekend with current and former co-stars in New Jersey for christmas con, a convention for fans of the kind of TV vacation movies made famous by Hallmark. she posted a carousel of Instagram photos of the event, calling it “a beautiful union of friends and fans; It’s three days of so much love that it’s hard to describe.”
Over 30 stars from Hallmark, Lifetime and GAC films attended the celebrations to meet their fans and promote their films. Notably absent from the squad, however, was Candace Cameron Bure, who joined GAC from Hallmark in early 2022 and has recently been embroiled in a maelstrom of controversy.
In an interview dated November 14, 2022 in the wall street journal, Bure said part of her reasoning for jumping networks was that she knew GAC’s leaders were “good Christians who loved the Lord and wanted to promote faith programs and good family entertainment.”
She drew quick backlash to her response when asked if GAC will feature same-sex couples in future films, as Hallmark has begun. Bure said no, adding, “I think the Great American Family will keep traditional marriage at its core.”
The network was started by Bill Abbott, Hallmark’s former CEO, who hired Bure not only to star in the films of her choice, but also to serve as the company’s chief creative officer. Referring to the possibility of LGBTQ+ inclusivity in the network’s films, he said: “It’s certainly 2022, so we’re aware of trends. There’s no whiteboard that says ‘Yes, that’ or ‘No, we’re never going to get here’.”
Amid the controversy, actor Neal Bledsoe, who just starred with McKellar in the new GAC Original film Christmas at the Drive-In, announced in a lengthy statement that he would no longer be making films for the network.
He wrote: “You may have noticed that I have been uncharacteristically quiet at a time when I should have been promoting a holiday film, a film with the express purpose of bringing everyone comfort at a time of great turmoil and change, but I can don’t continue with business as usual. I cannot comfort or offer sanctuary to those who condone exclusion and foster division in any way, shape or form.”
He went on to say that most Hallmark-style romantic films, including those on GAC, weren’t about marriage, just people falling in love, so “the term ‘traditional marriage’ is as abhorrent as it is confusing.”
McKellar, who signed an exclusive contract with GAC in 2021, also released a statement ahead of Thanksgiving saying she believes inclusivity and media representation for the LGBTQ+ community is critical and that “the notion that Christianity judges every form of love would, just amazed me. ”
But in a Dec. 12 interview from Christmas Con with Fox News Digital, She also defended Bure, saying her words were misunderstood by many, including Bledsoe.
“Neal is a wonderful person,” she said. “He’s such a great actor and I so enjoyed working with him. He and I certainly share our love and support for the LGBT community. I disagree with his interpretation of her comments. I just didn’t see her that way.”
McKellar continued, “When discussing the portrayal of straight couples in films, she began the sentence with ‘I think,’ which is not definitive, and ended it with ‘at the core,’ which means non-exclusive.”
Danica McKellar celebrates boyfriend Jonathan Bennett’s groundbreaking Hallmark film with a gay couple
The day after her comments on Bure’s controversial statement, McKellar attended a live preview event with her mother and a group of fellow actors, including Jonathan Bennett, who starred and executive produced the romantic comedy that was Hallmark’s first film. Party by The Holiday Sitter. with two male protagonists.
After the film’s debut she wrote on Instagram, “Had the privilege of watching the premiere of #TheHolidaySitter with @jonathandbennett and so many of my @gactv and @hallmarkchannel friends last night. What a beautiful movie. I’m so proud of Jonathan – he’s been telling me about this project for over two years and now it’s out in the world. It’s full of love and kindness, so funny and so much heart. Yay!”
McKellar and Bennett have been good friends for years. In her November statement on inclusivity, McKellar wrote about attending Bennett’s May wedding to TV host Jaymes Vaughan.
“My husband and I had the privilege of attending my good friend’s beautiful wedding with his husband in Mexico earlier this year,” she wrote. “We said back then that this was one of the purest displays of love we’d ever seen.”
Given the tweet he pinned to the top of his Twitter feed on Dec. 11, they may still not see eye to eye with the controversy surrounding Bure’s comments. Retweeting a Hallmark promo for “The Holiday Sitter,” he wrote, “I absolutely love this traditional love and traditional relationship.”
https://heavy.com/entertainment/hallmark/danica-mckellar-defends-candace-cameron-bure/ Danica McKellar defends Candace Cameron Bure in interview