Candace Cameron Bure, the actress best known for her role in Full House (and, more recently, Fuller House), is leaving her cushy gigs with the Hallmark Channel for a “more sweeping role” at a conservative alternative called Great American Family, where “traditional marriage” will take center stage. She told the Wall Street Journal that the move will allow her to make films that don’t have to acknowledge the romantic lives of gay people.
Asked if she expects her new channel to feature same-sex couples as leads in holiday movies, Mrs. Bure said no. “I think that Great American Family will keep traditional marriage at the core,” she said.
It takes a real fundamentalist Christian to watch the Hallmark Channel and act like it’s too woke…
Even when Hallmark has taken progressive baby steps, they’ve been mild at best. The network made headlines months ago when it unveiled its holiday schedule—with 40 original made-for-TV movies—and announced that one of them, The Holiday Sitter, would be a Christmas rom-com centered around a same-sex couple.
A gay couple in a G-rated movie celebrating a Christian holiday is hardly transgressive… but it’s not nothing either. (They are also featuring movies centered around Kwanzaa, Hanukkah, and a Chinese family.)
That comes two years after Hallmark featured a gay couple in a different Christmas movie: One of the subplots in The Christmas House involved the same-sex couple trying to adopt a child, but that couple wasn’t the main focus of the film. And in 2019, Hallmark made headlines for all the wrong reasons after it pulled an ad for the wedding planning website Zola because it featured a lesbian couple kissing. (They eventually reversed that decision after intense pressure.)
Like I said, baby steps. Very mild. Hallmark is no bastion of liberalism. And yet all of those small moves go in the wrong direction for Bure, who thinks anything that’s not straight and Jesus-centric is inherently blasphemous.
“My heart wants to tell stories that have more meaning and purpose and depth behind them,” said Mrs. Bure, who is 46 years old. “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.”
At Great American Family, Mrs. Bure is now the chief creative officer, which allows her to produce religious titles under the “Candace Cameron Bure Presents” banner. She is involved in content creation and curation across many genres. For this season, Mrs. Bure produced a secular film, “Christmas on Candy Cane Lane,” starring former “Full House” castmate Andrea Barber. “I’m so happy to have Candace be my guiding light,” Ms. Barber said. “I thanked her every single day.”
Notice how she speaks about GAF. Candace Cameron Bure wants to make “good family entertainment” with people who “love the Lord,” all while highlighting “traditional marriage.” That’s all Christianese, sending the message that treating gay couples as normal is somehow a slap in the face to white evangelicals everywhere.
The Hallmark Channel making one movie about a gay couple isn’t liberal activism. But Bure actively avoiding making movies with gay couples is conservative activism. It also narrows the kinds of stories she can tell, a limitation any “creative officer” worth her salary might want to avoid.
None of this should surprise people who have followed her career. Her brother Kirk Cameron, who was also a child actor, has preached the same fundamentalist gospel on set, which is why he only stars in low-budget Christian movies these days. A while back, he partnered with evangelist Ray Comfort for a series called “The Way of the Master,” which gained internet fame after a segment involving a banana went viral in atheist circles. Cameron also introduced the world to the “crocoduck,” a fictional creature he insisted had to exist if evolution were true (which is not how evolution works).
Bure became a Christian through her brother’s encouragement.
To be clear, none of that should matter since her personal life and religious beliefs are her business. But much like politicians who use their platform to push their personal views on others, Bure is using her new job to push the idea that straight couples ought to be the default setting in movies and depicting anything else means caving in to peer pressure.
Being a Christian, to her, means shoving gay couples back in the closet. They just don’t exist in the cinematic universe she hopes to create.
And that’s why her movies will ultimately fail. It’s not just that Great American Family isn’t included in most cable packages and isn’t streaming its content. It’s that selling 10 different kinds of vanilla doesn’t make for a successful ice cream shop. It’s that when FOX already exists, there’s no need for OAN. It’s that Bure is trying to sell her films as more Christmas-y, or at least more Christian, because they ignore the existence of same-sex couples… when Hallmark, with very few exceptions, already does that.
Bure is trying to capture a small segment of an already niche audience. She sure as hell isn’t trying to reach new people.
At some point, even comfort films have to try something different to create tension. If a movie meant to portray real-life situations doesn’t look anything like the real world, what sort of audience will it actually reach? More importantly, why would anyone recommend the blandest, dullest movies to their loved ones if the biggest selling point is the subtle bigotry?
As you might expect, after that “traditional marriage” comment appeared in the Wall Street Journal, there was backlash against Candace Cameron Bure. She responded, predictably, by acting like she was a victim of Christian persecution:
… It absolutely breaks my heart that anyone would ever think I intentionally would want to offend and hurt anyone. It saddens me that the media is often seeking to divide us, even around a subject as comforting and merry as Christmas movies. But, given the toxic climate in our culture right now, I shouldn’t be surprised. We need Christmas more than ever…
To the members of the media responsible for using this opportunity to fan flames of conflict and hate, I have a simple message: I love you anyway. To those who hate what I value and who are attacking me online: I love you. To those who have tried to assassinate my character: I love you. To everyone reading this, of any race, creed, sexuality, or political party, including those who have tried to bully me with name-calling, I love you.
The media didn’t “divide us”; they quoted her accurately. She and her fellow Christian bigots are a large part of the reason there is a “toxic climate in our culture.” No one tried to “assassinate her character”; they criticized her beliefs. And her “love” is not reciprocated because she doesn’t actually mean it. If she had her way, LGBTQ people wouldn’t have any rights at all. If liberals treated Christians the way she treats gay people, maybe she’d have a point, but we don’t, so she doesn’t.
None of this will stop her, though. She’ll oversee the most boring films imaginable for an audience that’s far smaller than she’s used to getting. And when the poor ratings come in, she’ll inevitably cry foul and blame everyone but herself. We’ve seen this playbook before.