The president and CEO of Crown Media, the Hallmark Channel's parent company, is stepping down a little more than a month after the network apologized for removing advertisements featuring same-sex couples from the air.
Hallmark subsequently folded under the pressure from homophobes and pulled the ads on December 14, prompting Ellen DeGeneres to write on Twitter, tagging Abbott: "Isn't it nearly 2020?"
In a statement, Mike Perry, president and CEO of Hallmark Cards, said that with enormous competition from TV networks and streaming services, it is important for the company to find "relevant new ways to grow our business".
Hallmark pulled the ads after a campaign from conservative group One Million Moms called on the network to remove them and to ban other content showing same-sex couples. Mike Perry, the president and CEO of Hallmark Cards, Inc., issued a statement confirming the news and alluding to a need for "relevant" change.
"I'm gay, where are the same-sex movies?"
"We're open to really any type of movie of any type of relationship", Abbott responded.
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The controversial commercials were among a series of six ads for Zola, a wedding planning website, which had been airing on the Hallmark Channel since December 2.
Celebrities William Shatner and Ellen DeGeneres both took to Twitter in order to criticize the "family friendly" channel.
So Hallmark reversed course and reinstated the ad for the wedding services site.
"I have tremendous confidence in the Crown Media management team and with this team in place, I will begin a search for Bill's replacement", Perry continued.
"Said simply, they believe this was the wrong decision".
Perry was the exec who publicly accounted for the commercial fallout, saying his team had been "agonizing" over the situation, "as we've seen the hurt it has unintentionally caused".