Don't expect to see gay couples on Candace Cameron Bure's Christian network

Candace Cameron-Bure
Candace Cameron-Bure

As Candace Cameron Bure moves into a new role as chief creative officer at the Christian cable TV network Great American Family, she doesn’t appear to be moving away from her dismissal of the LGBTQ+ community.

In a new interview with The Wall Street Journal, Bure discusses her Hallmark exodus, which coincided with the network’s push for more inclusive storylines—queer romances among them. Bure exited Hallmark in 2021, joining the network’s former CEO Bill Abbott at Great American Family.

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“My heart wants to tell stories that have more meaning and purpose and depth behind them,” Bure tells WSJ’s Ellen Gamerman of the switch. “I knew that the people behind Great American Family were Christians that love the Lord and wanted to promote faith programming and good family entertainment.”

As Bure explains, combining faith programming with good family entertainment means focusing on “traditional marriage”— otherwise known as heterosexual union.

“I think that Great American Family will keep traditional marriage at the core,” she shares.

What Bure doesn’t explicitly say: there’s not room at Great American Family to center queer storylines. It’s a disappointing approach—and it’s divergent from the one Bure’s former network, Hallmark, has been taking in recent years. Hallmark will debut its first film following an LGBTQ+ couple next month (after promising to add more queer storylines back in 2020.)

“I think we know the core audience and what they love is exactly how Bill originally built the Hallmark Channel,” Bure concludes. “That was Christmas and those traditional holidays, so that’s what the focus is going to be. You’ve got to start somewhere. You can’t do everything at once.”

Despite a fair assessment of every project needing to start somewhere, there’s no reason that initial somewhere should be a landscape devoid of real diversity. Bure’s association between “traditional marriage” and stories that “have more meaning, purpose, and depth” is no coincidence. But any development slate that treats heterosexual hegemony as fantasy shouldn’t promise viewers much depth at all.

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