Hallmark Hunks Have Something To Say About Candace Cameron Bure's Move To Great American Family

After leaving the Hallmark Channel in 2022, Candace Cameron Bure surprised many by not only joining the Great American Family network (formerly known as GAC Family) but also taking on a pivotal executive role at the network. "GAC fits my brand perfectly; we share a vision of creating compelling, wholesome content for an audience that wants to watch programming for and with the whole family," Bure shared in a statement, as reported by Deadline. Despite mostly citing better opportunities and creative freedom for her move, Bure's departure from Hallmark turned out to be based on fundamentally differing viewpoints.

In an interview with The Wall Street Journal, Bure shared that the changes at Hallmark Channel didn't align with her preferences and that she intends to keep traditional marriages as a core value at Great American Family. In response to Bure's statement, Hallmark shared, "We want all viewers to see themselves in our programming, and everyone is welcome," as reported by Variety.

Even some Hallmark stars, including the three hunks of Hallmark — Andrew Walker, Tyler Hynes, and Paul Campbell — who starred together in the network's original "Three Wise Men and a Baby," weighed in on Bure's controversial behavior regarding the exclusion of stories about same-sex marriage. In their joint interview with Vulture, Walker shared, "I think it was just a good excuse to cover up an opportunity she had somewhere else." Still, Bure's statements sparked significant backlash, but Great American Family had her back.

Walker, Hynes, and Campbell think Hallmark is better off

When speaking to Vulture, the Hallmark hunks didn't delve into too much detail about Candace Cameron Bure's controversial move to Great American Family, but the threesome respects her decision. Tyler Hynes shared, "I can't imagine how complicated or nuanced her relationship was or wasn't. All I know is, for us, it's very simple why we're here," referencing the feel-good storylines Hallmark never fails to deliver. "We want to see . . . diversity of storytelling. Because things have to evolve."

Controversially, Bill Abbott, the former executive chief of Crown Media Family Networks, Hallmark's parent company, resigned from his role in 2020 after the network received criticism for pulling a same-sex kiss commercial, as per The New York Times. Abbott went on to co-found Great American Media, which includes Great American Family, about a year later. In an interview with Family Savvy, Abbott described his new network as a family-friendly concept that promotes positive role models. Interpret that as you will.

The "Three Wise Men and a Baby" stars addressed the messy Great American Family vs. Hallmark narrative, with Paul Campbell sharing, "Hallmark is the only place that does specifically what Hallmark does." For them, there's no competition because they're moving forward. Campbell explained, "If you look at the numbers this season, [Hallmark's] viewership is up, so it's a big playground. There's a lot of space for people to produce and tell similar stories."

Lacey Chabert and Neal Bledsoe also spoke up against discrimination

While the favorite Hallmark trio remained relatively tight-lipped about Candace Cameron Bure's departure, Lacey Chabert was more forthright in her interview with Vulture. "Any shift I've felt [at Hallmark] has been embracing our creative ideas," said the "Mean Girls" star. She added, "I'll never abandon what Hallmark means for me, which is that everything is centered around the heart."

Bill Abbott also addressed Bure's controversial opinions, telling Variety that, despite her role and expertise, she doesn't speak for Great American Media's views. However, he added, "She's our secret weapon. I'd put her executive ability up against anybody, including mine." Even though the TV chief emphasized that he prefers to keep private opinions out of his business realm, is such separation even possible when it comes to statements like the ones Bure made, given that they profoundly impact the way someone in her position would operate?

With a definitive answer remaining elusive for the time being, Neal Bledsoe, a Great American Family star known for roles in "The Winter Palace" and "Christmas at the Drive-In," left the network due to Bure. He explained in a statement, "The thought that my work could be used to deliberately discriminate against anyone horrifies and infuriates me," Entertainment Weekly reported. As Great American Media continues to nurture its own set of values, it might be beneficial to openly acknowledge them rather than attempting to sit on two chairs at once.