CEO Makes Clear Where Great American Family Stands With Candace Cameron Bure

Candace Cameron Bure had been a mainstay in Hallmark movies for years, but she left the network in late 2022. She's now at Great American Family as the chief creative officer as well as starring in some of the network's shows. 

Bure's exit from Hallmark to its competitor was not without its controversy. It came after an interview with The Wall Street Journal in November 2022 in which Bure said, "My heart wants to tell stories that have more meaning and purpose and depth behind them." That by itself wasn't particularly controversial, per se, though it is a bit of a slam at the types of movies she seems to be implying she was in at Hallmark. 

What really got some backlash was when Bure said that fans wouldn't be seeing gay couples as the protagonists in any Great American Family Christmas movies, "I think that Great American Family will keep traditional marriage at the core," Bure said.

Bill Abbott, CEO of Great American Family and former boss at Hallmark, was asked directly by Variety in October 2023 about Bure's comments about LGBTQ+ marriage and whether he agreed with them. Abbott didn't confirm his own opinion about the topic; instead, he spoke about how the personal and the professional should be separate. And he made it clear that while Bure was entitled to voice her opinion in regard to marriage, "when she speaks on that, she's not speaking on behalf of Great American Media."

GAF's CEO raved about Candace Cameron Bure's performance at the network

While Bill Abbott confirmed that Candace Cameron Bure wasn't the person to listen to when it came to the Great American Family network's plans on what type of relationship stories would be told, he did have quite a lot of positive things to say about Bure's leadership at the company. He called her, "better arguably for us organizationally, behind the camera, than she is even in front of the camera, to give you an idea of how good she is."

Abbott also denied that the Great American Family network was specifically planning to avoid any depiction of LGBTQ+ relationships in their programming, but he did make it clear that the inclusion of same-sex marriage stories wasn't a current focus. "We have so many things on our agenda that we need to stay focused on the core part of the business right now and then down the road, as our world grows and changes and becomes different, then we'll see," he said.

One person disappointed in Bure's comments about marriage was her former "Full House" co-star Jodie Sweetin. Sweetin made it clear that her stance on marriage was different than Bure's, which is why it was frustrating for her to find out that without her knowing it, one of Sweetin's movies ended up being purchased by Great American Family. Sweeting will be donating money from the project specifically to LGBTQ+ organizations, according to People.