Candace Cameron Bure is going on the defensive after starting a social media firestorm with her comments about wanting to keep “traditional marriage” at the core of her Christmas movies.
“I would like to address my comments on Great American Family’s programming as reported in The Wall Street Journal. All of you who know me, know beyond question that I have great love and affection for all people. It absolutely breaks my heart that anyone would ever think I intentionally would want to offend and hurt anyone,” she said in a lengthy statement Wednesday. “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.”
She goes on to say that “I had also expressed in my interview, which was not included, that people of all ethnicities and identities have and will continue to contribute to the network in great ways both in front of and behind the camera, which I encourage and fully support.”
TVLine has reached out to The Wall Street Journal for comment.
Bure refers to an interview with the Journal earlier this week, in which the former Hallmark Channel holiday queen explained why she moved over to GAC Family, noting that she knew the people in charge “were Christians that love the Lord and wanted to promote faith programming and good family entertainment.” When asked if her movies for the network would feature LGBTQ+ couples, Bure said no, adding that GAC Family “will keep traditional marriage at the core.”
Unsurprisingly, Bure’s brazen exclusion of an entire people group did not go over well. Former One Tree Hill star Hilarie Burton, who has produced and starred in several holiday movies, called Bure a “bigot,” adding, “I don’t remember Jesus liking hypocrites like Candy. But sure. Make your money, honey. You ride that prejudice wave all the way to the bank.”
The Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) condemned Bure’s remarks, as well, via this statement from president and CEO Sarah Kate Ellis: “It’s irresponsible and hurtful for Candace Cameron Bure to use tradition as a guise for exclusion. I’d love to have a conversation with Bure about my wife, our kids and our family’s traditions. Bure is out of sync with a growing majority of people of faith, including LGBTQ people of faith, who know that LGBTQ couples and families are deserving of love and visibility… If GAF’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.”
JoJo Siwa, who identifies as queer, also shared a strong reaction to Bure’s comments. “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,” the former Dance Moms star wrote in an Instagram post. “This is rude and hurtful to a whole community of people.”
A number of public figures supported Siwa, including Bure’s Full/Fuller House co-star Jodie Sweetin, who commented, “You know I love you.”
Read Bure’s full statement below:
I would like to address my comments on Great American Family’s programming as reported in The Wall Street Journal. All of you who know me, know beyond question that I have great love and affection for all people. 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.
I am a devoted Christian. Which means that I believe that every human being bears the image of God. Because of that, I am called to love all people, and I do. If you know me, you know that I am a person who loves fiercely and indiscriminately. My heart yearns to build bridges and bring people one step closer to God, to love others well, and to simply be a reflection of God’s huge love for all of us.
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.
I have long wanted to find a home for more faith-based programming. I am grateful to be an integral part of a young and growing network. I had also expressed in my interview, which was not included, that people of all ethnicities and identities have and will continue to contribute to the network in great ways both in front of and behind the camera, which I encourage and fully support. I’ve never been interested in proselytizing through my storytelling, but in celebrating God’s greatness in our lives through the stories I tell.
The God we serve is a wildly creative and loving God. He didn’t just capture a small part of my heart, He has captured all of my heart. He will be reflected in everything I do and say; in my family, my work and my interactions with people from all walks of life, God’s love and God’s compassion is front and center. All of that comes from the LOVE that God himself showered upon humanity when he gave the gift of joy and forgiveness on the first Christmas morning 2000 years ago. It is why I love Christmas stories and sharing true joy and true peace with millions of people around the world. And in the sole motivation of pure love, I hope you’ll join me in sharing God’s hope for all the world this Christmas season. Call that my Christmas wish.
Bure’s first GAC Family movie, Candace Cameron Bure Presents: A Christmas… Present, premieres Sunday, Nov. 27 at 8/7c.