Jonathan Bennett Hails Hallmark’s LGBTQ Content After Candace Cameron Bure Controversy

Jonathan Bennett Candace Cameron Bure
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After Candace Cameron Bure angered viewers and other celebrities for talking about Great American Family’s focus on “traditional marraige,” actor Jonathan Bennett pointed out how Hallmark Channel, Bure’s former TV home, is making a tradition out of LGBTQ inclusivity.

When E! News asked Bennett about Bure’s comments, the Mean Girls alum didn’t make holiday mincemeat out of his words.

“I’m just proud to be part of Hallmark Channel, [which] is doing so much inclusive programming like The Holiday Sitter, which is an LGBTQ+-led Christmas movie,” said the actor, who married Celebrity Page host Jaymes Vaughn this year. “I’m just so proud to be on Hallmark Channel, that’s making these movies for everyone, because Christmas is for everyone and [the] Hallmark channels are for everyone.”

In The Holiday Sitter — premiering on Sunday, December 11, at 8/7c on Hallmark Channel — Bennett plays a workaholic bachelor named Sam who gets babysitting help from handsome neighbor Jason (George Krissa). The movie marks Hallmark’s first leading LGBTQ couple, according to Variety.

Bure, who left Hallmark for Great American Family in April, stoked controversy earlier this month upon the publication of a Wall Street Journal interview in which she said she didn’t expect her new channel to have same-sex couples leading its holiday movies. “I think that Great American Family will keep traditional marriage at the core,” the Full House alum said in the interview.

Candace Cameron Bure

Emma McIntyre/Getty Images for Netflix

Those comments drew condemnation from people like One Tree Hill vet Hilarie Burton, who called Bure a bigot. “I don’t remember Jesus liking hypocrites like Candy. But sure. Make your money, honey,” she tweeted. “You ride that prejudice wave all the way to the bank.”

In another tweet, Burton added, “There is nothing untraditional about same-sex couples.”

JoJo Siwa also spoke out about Bure on social media. “Honestly, 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. This is rude and hurtful to a whole community of people,” Siwa wrote in an Instagram post.

Jodie Sweetin, Bure’s former Full House costar, commented on Siwa’s post, writing, “You know I love you.”

Amid the controversy, Bure posted a statement on Instagram but didn’t walk back or apologize for her WSJ comments. “It absolutely breaks my heart that anyone would ever think I intentionally would want to offend and hurt anyone,” she wrote, in part.

After calling out the “toxic climate in our culture right now” and the “members of the media responsible for using this opportunity to fan flames of conflict and hate,” Bure said 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.”