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Under pressure, Hallmark pulls gay-themed wedding ads


Under pressure from a conservative group, The Hallmark Channel has pulled ads for a wedding planning site that featured two brides kissing at the altar

NEW YORK —
Under pressure from a conservative advocacy group, The Hallmark Channel has pulled ads for a wedding-planning website that featured two brides kissing at the altar.

The family-friendly network, which is in the midst of its heavily watched holiday programming, removed the ads because the controversy was a distraction, a spokesperson said in an interview Saturday.

“The debate surrounding these commercials on all sides was distracting from the purpose of our network, which is to provide entertainment value,” said a statement provided by Molly Biwer, senior vice president for public affairs and communications at Hallmark.

In an interview, she added: “The Hallmark brand is never going to be divisive. We don’t want to generate controversy, we’ve tried very hard to stay out of it … we just felt it was in the best interest of the brand to pull them and not continue to generate controversy.”

There was immediate criticism on Twitter. Ellen DeGeneres asked Hallmark: “Isn’t it almost 2020? What are you thinking? Please explain. We’re all ears.”

Biwer confirmed that a conservative group, One Million Moms, part of the American Family Association, had complained about the ads to Bill Abbott, CEO of Crown Media Family Networks, Hallmark’s parent company.

A post on the group’s website said that Abbott “reported the advertisement aired in error.” The group also wrote: “The call to our office gave us the opportunity to confirm the Hallmark Channel will continue to be a safe and family-friendly network.”

Zola had submitted six ads, and four had a lesbian couple. After Hallmark pulled those ads, but not two featuring only opposite-sex couples, Zola pulled its remaining ads, the company said.

“The only difference between the commercials that were flagged and the ones that were approved was that the commercials that did not meet Hallmark’s standards included a lesbian couple kissing,” said Mike Chi, Zola’s chief marketing officer, in a statement sent to the AP. ”Hallmark approved a commercial where a heterosexual couple kissed.

“All kisses, couples and marriages are equal celebrations of love and we will no longer be advertising on Hallmark,” Chi said.

In one of the pulled ads, two brides stand at the altar and wonder aloud whether their wedding would be going more smoothly if they had used a wedding planning site like Zola. The lighthearted ad ends with the two brides sharing a quick kiss on the altar.

Actress Sandra Bernhard, who played one of the first openly bisexual characters on network TV in “Roseanne,” also criticized Hallmark’s decision.

“All the groovy gay ladies i know won’t be watching your Christmas schlock,” she wrote on Twitter, addressing Hallmark. “They’ll be out celebrating with their ’families’ wives, children, friends on & on & getting married in chic ensembles. Didn’t you all get the memo? Family is all inclusive.”

The developments came as Hallmark appeared to be considering more same-sex themed content.

Asked about the possibility of holiday movies based on same-sex relationships, Abbott was quoted in The Hollywood Reporter in mid-November as saying on its TV podcast: “We’re open to really any type of movie of any type of relationship.”



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Malin Andersson turns to police after receiving acid attack threats


Love Island’s Malin Andersson has been receiving acid attack threats online (Picture: Getty Images)

Love Island star Malin Andersson is seeking help from the police after being subjected to acid attack threats online.

The reality star, who shot to fame on the second series of the ITV2 dating show in 2016, shared her scary ordeal on Instagram, as she called out the troll for taunting her on social media.

Highlighting just how scary trolling can be, Malin explained she has been working with police to find out who the troll in question is and told fans: ‘People don’t realise what kind these kind of threats do to people.’

‘Sick in the head,’ she wrote, while sharing a screenshot of the horrible message she had received.

It read: ‘I’ve seen you about 3times in mk and have not decided what I will do to you. you will not get away with all the sh*t you’ve done acid sounds good little bitch (sic).’

(Picture: Instagram)
(Picture: Instagram)

Malin added in a second post: ‘I couldn’t stay quiet for this one. Me and the police are going to find out who this is. I have no words.’

A source told The Sun that Malin has left her home, as a result of the threatening message, and skipped a service where she was supposed to be lighting a candle for her daughter Consy, who died earlier this year, because she feared the troll would be in the area.

‘Malin has been really shook up by the threats. She’s had the police to her house and has called in security to look after her,’ the source told the paper.

‘She’s not been back to the house since… it’s devastating and really the last thing she needs.’

Metro.co.uk have reached out to Malin’s rep.

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It’s almost a year until what would have been her 1st birthday, and I can’t express how much my heart hurts for that. Nobody deserves to go through losing a child. But what I can say is that I’m so privileged to announce that I am now @sandscharity official ambassador after an exciting meeting today. Suffering = strength – If anything she would be so proud of me right now. I am not a victim, I’m a survivor of many things. Giving back is something I’ve always wanted to do. I could have gone in a different direction and gone down a bad path but the universe knew I was strong enough to handle the pain. I won’t stop raising awareness for things I truly believe in. It’s a privilege to be part of such an amazing charity – let’s break the stigma and keep raising awareness for @babyloss @sandscharity #SandsAmbassador .. Almost a year now baby Consy – mumma loves you ❤️

A post shared by MALIN ANDERSSON (@missmalinsara) on

Malin, who is an advocate for body positivity, recently paid tribute to baby Consy, as what would have been her first birthday approaches, in a sweet Instagram post.

Sharing a series of pictures of her baby girl, before she died just four weeks after being born prematurely, Malin wrote: ‘It’s almost a year until what would have been her 1st birthday, and I can’t express how much my heart hurts for that. Nobody deserves to go through losing a child.’

In another post Malin reached out to her baby girl and called Consy her ‘forever angel’.

‘Oh baby girl this month is proving tough but I’m needing a reminder that you are my FOREVER ANGEL! For anyone else needing help please know @sandscharity are here to help,’ she said.

Malin gave birth to Consy at the end of 2018 – naming her daughter after her mother, Consy, who passed away in 2017.

Speaking to Metro.co.uk about her heartbreaking loss, Malin said she doesn’t want to let it define her and instead wants to become a ‘better person’ because of her experience.

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She said: ‘You can either let it consume you, or you could just let it evolve you as a person and use it as a kind of strength.

‘When you suffer stuff or loss. If you let it kind of define who you are, it will eat you up. So it’s best to let it make you a better person.’



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Kourtney Kardashian clashes with KUWTK fan over wanting more privacy


Kourtney Kardashian bites back at fan who says she’s not entitled to more privacy (Picture: E!)

Kourtney Kardashian has grown a little tired of sharing her life on camera and she’s got no time for anyone saying she is obliged to, as she stars on a reality TV show.

The mum-of-three has starred alongside her family on Keeping Up With The Kardashians for years now, but recently announced she wanted to take a step back from filming to spend more time with her kids and gain a little more privacy.

Her decision to do so seems to have sparked a bit of a feud, though, between Kourt and her sisters Khloe and Kim.

Taking to Instagram, Kourtney shared a clip from Sunday night’s episode of KUWTK, where she’s seen venting her frustration to mum Kris Jenner over her sisters not respecting her decision to not share as much on camera anymore.

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#tonight #kuwtk

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Kourtney says: ‘They can’t give me one second to breathe. I shared everything from my relationship with Scott. Everything. To where all these people were involved in my relationship, it was horrible for our relationship.

‘I would fight for them if they said these were their boundaries, I would stick up for them. So I’m like, “Why would you not stick up for me?”‘

The clip prompted one fan to hit back at Kourtney and suggest that ‘contractually’ she is obligated to share her private life, and if she doesn’t want to then she should quit the show altogether.

The fan suggested Kourt is contractually obligated to share her personal life (Picture: Instagram)

‘then don’t be on the show! Contractual she cannot pick and chose….especially a relationship….sorry she’s gotta go (sic),’ the fan commented.

‘No special exceptions…no fair to the others complying with the contract!

‘If she now wants privacy she can have it….exit left…..but not while E is cutting a check and their core fan base is watching! (sic)’

Calling out the fan, Kourtney replied: ‘have you seen my contract? “Contractually”,’ while adding a crying laughing face emoji.

Kourtney biting back comes after an earlier preview clip of Sunday’s KUWTK episode did the rounds online.

The 40-year-old could be seen clashing with Khloe and Kim, as they called out Kourtney for not sharing as much on camera anymore and claiming that by her pulling back, they have been forced to share more.

‘Our job is about being open and honest and sharing a lot of ourselves and it just seems like for the past few years now, Kourtney hasn’t really been open about her personal life on camera,’ Kim argued.

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‘All the days Kourtney isn’t filming, Khloe and I are picking up the slack and having to share more.’

She claimed that Kourtney is so ‘secretive’ with them now, that she finds out things about her sister by reading them online, but Kourt, who is rumoured to be dating her ex Younes Bendjima again, told her sisters to ‘respect’ her boundaries, as she would do the same for them.

‘This is crazy,’ she says. ‘If they wanted privacy, I would never follow them or expose them.’



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Taylor Swift slays AMAs red carpet after reigniting Scooter Braun feud


Taylor Swift seriously slayed the America Music Awards red carpet on Sunday

Taylor Swift absolutely nailed her red carpet look for the American Music Awards on Sunday night.

The Shake It Off hit-maker looked nothing short of fierce, as she chose to rock up to the annual ceremony, held in Los Angeles at the Microsoft Theatre, in a glittering green dress.

Sassing up her number, that came with a huge slit at one side, Taylor added a pair of black thigh-high boots to her outfit and wore her blonde hair over to one side.

Of course, her make-up was just as a point, with the star choosing a more natural look when it came to her glam, so she could let her dress do all the talking no doubt.

Taylor’s dress came with a huge slit and she wore thigh-high boots (Picture: Invision/AP)

All eyes are on Taylor this year, as she is up for a huge five awards including Artist of the Year and Video of the Year.

She’s also been honoured with the Artist of the Decade award (yup, we’ve had 10 years of Swifty, people) and she’ll be marking the moment by performing on stage.

Although, her performance hasn’t come without a little controversy, as Taylor reignited her feud with Scooter Braun ahead of the AMAs.

Taylor seemed to brush off her feud with Scooter Braun over her AMAs performance (Picture: Rex Features)

She accused him of banning her from performing her old songs at the awards – although, Scooter has denied this.

The pair first came to blows when Scooter purchased Big Machine Records, which owned all of Taylor’s back catalogue of songs and she publicly hit out at Scooter on social media earlier this year, claiming she wasn’t allowed to buy the masters of her work.

Scooter had remained silent on the situation for six months, but recently addressed his spat with Taylor and their ‘toxic division’.

He said: ‘I haven’t talked about this in six months, not once. ‘I haven’t made a statement about it and that’s hard, because when you have a lot of things being said and a lot of different opinions — yet the principals haven’t had a chance to speak to each other — there’s a lot of confusion.’

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‘I think that I’m not gonna go into details here because it’s just not my style,’ he told the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce State of the Entertainment Industry Conference.

Scooter, who claims he has received death threats as a result of his fallout with T-Swift, added: ‘I just think we live in a time with toxic division and people thinking that social media is the appropriate place to air out on each other and not have conversations.’



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The Crown reportedly finds its next Queen



Imelda Staunton will reportedly replace Olivia Colman as the Queen in Netflix’s regal drama The Crown (Ian West/PA)
Imelda Staunton will reportedly replace Olivia Colman as the Queen in Netflix’s regal drama The Crown (Ian West/PA)

Imelda Staunton will reportedly replace Olivia Colman as the Queen in Netflix’s regal drama The Crown.

The 63-year-old actress will take the role for seasons five and six of the critically acclaimed show, according to the Daily Mail.

Colman made her debut as the Queen on Sunday, when all 10 episodes of The Crown season three were made available on Netflix.

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Imelda Staunton has reportedly been cast to play the Queen in later seasons of The Crown (Isabel Infantes/PA)

She will reprise the role when the fourth instalment arrives next year. Claire Foy played the Queen in the first two seasons of The Crown.

Staunton received a best actress Oscar nomination for her lead role in the 2004 drama Vera Drake, and is also known for playing Dolores Umbridge in the Harry Potter films.

If she is cast as the Queen, it is likely her spell on The Crown would feature several royal crises, including the Prince of Wales’s split from Diana, Princess of Wales.

The Crown, created by Peter Morgan, first aired in 2016. It originally starred Foy in the lead role, Matt Smith as the Duke of Edinburgh and Vanessa Kirby as Princess Margaret.

Producers opted to refresh the cast when dealing with a later time period in season three, rather than using technology to digitally age the actors.

Tobias Menzies and Helena Bonham Carter are currently playing Philip and Princess Margaret, respectively.

The Crown is streaming on Netflix now.

PA Media






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