Candace Cameron Bure says she wants to put Christianity back into Christmas movies at her new network, Great American Family, adding she does not expect for the network to feature gay couples in its holiday films.
When asked if she expects for the network to feature same-sex leads in holiday movies, the former "Full House" star said in an interview with The Wall Street Journal she thinks "Great American Family will keep traditional marriage at the core."
Bure left the Hallmark Channel earlier this year to become chief creative officer at Great American Family, after starring in almost a dozen holiday-themed Hallmark movies.
"It basically is a completely different network than when I started because of the change of leadership," Bure told the Journal of her departure from Hallmark.
"My heart wants to tell stories that have more meaning and purpose and depth behind them," she said. "I knew that the people behind Great American Family were Christians that love the Lord and wanted to promote faith programming and good family entertainment."
Bure's first holiday-themed TV movie for Great American Family, "A Christmas... Present," is due out this month.
Hallmark said in a statement to the Journal it was committed to storytelling that centered diverse perspectives and experiences. "We want all viewers to see themselves in our programming and everyone is welcome," a Hallmark spokesperson said in the statement.
Both Bure and Bill Abbott, the former CEO of Hallmark’s parent company Crown Media, are now at Great American Family. Abbott launched Great American Media, which oversees Great American Family, in 2021 and serves as the chief executive.
While Bure seemed sure of the network’s direction when it comes to LGBTQ+ content, Abbott was more vague in his response.
"It’s certainly the year 2022, so we’re aware of the trends," he told the Journal. “There’s no whiteboard that says, 'Yes, this' or 'No, we’ll never go here.'"
GLAAD President and CEO Sarah Kate Ellis called Bure's comments "irresponsible" and "hurtful."
"If (Great American Family's) plan is to intentionally exclude stories about LGBTQ couples, then actors, advertisers, cable and streaming platforms, and production companies should take note and seriously consider whether they want to be associated with a network that holds exclusion as one of its values," Ellis said in a statement.
In April, Bure announced she was leaving the Hallmark Channel after 14 years to join Great American Family, saying in a statement the new network fits her brand "perfectly."
"I’m very excited to develop heartwarming family and faith-filled programming and make the kind of stories my family and I love to watch," she said in a statement at the time. "We share a vision of creating compelling wholesome content for an audience who wants to watch programming for and with the whole family."
Bure's comments incited the ire of social media star and dancer JoJo Siwa, who criticized the move on Instagram.
“Honestly, I can’t believe after everything that went down just a few months ago, that she would not only create a movie with intention of excluding LGBTQIA+, but then also talk about it in the press,” Siwa, who came out as gay in January 2021, wrote. “This is rude and hurtful to a whole community of people.”
Several other stars agreed with her in the comments, including Bure’s “Full House” co-star Jodie Sweetin.
“You know I love you,” Sweetin wrote with two red heart emoji.
"go off jojo!!!!!!!" fellow "Dance Moms" alum Maddie Ziegler chimed in.
Bure further explained her reasoning for leaving Hallmark in a September interview with Variety.
"The truth is I’ve been under contract with Hallmark for a very, very long time. And those have been absolutely wonderful," she told Variety. "It just so happened that my contract was expiring when Great American Family started up."
"And as every business person knows, you’ve got to do what’s right for contracts," Bure added. "It didn’t work out with Hallmark and so we started talking to Bill."
Bure starred in her first Hallmark movie, "Moonlight & Mistletoe," in 2008 after taking more than a 10-year break from acting to focus on her family. She went on to appear in nearly 30 films for the network before her departure.