Nikki DeLoach Praises Hallmark Channel’s ‘Inclusive and ‘Dynamic’ Storytelling After Candace Cameron Bure Drama: ‘Our Audience Is Very Diverse’
Proud of her workplace. Nikki DeLoach praised Hallmark Channel for their storytelling after Candace Cameron Bure's controversial comments in support of Great American Media's programming.
"We are telling deeper, richer [and] bigger stories. [They are] inclusive and dynamic," DeLoach, 43, who signed an overall deal with Hallmark last month, told Christy Carlson Romano on an episode of her "Vulnerable" podcast, which was posted on Tuesday, January 3. "And the way Hallmark thinks about it now — the mindset that's happening at our network — is our audience is very diverse actually."
The Awkward alum continued: "Some of the same people that watch Hallmark also watched Game of Thrones or Succession. And then yes there's a large unit of the audience that watches Fox News and then watches Hallmark. But it is diverse. So, the way that they are looking at it now is we want to give something for everyone. We want everybody to see themselves in at least one or handfuls of our movies. I love that."
The Georgia native made her debut at Hallmark in 2015 with Christmas Land alongside Luke Macfarlane. She has since appeared in 14 films with the network.
DeLoach's show of support for Hallmark Channel comes after Cameron Bure, 46, shocked viewers with her move to Great American Family. (Ahead of her exit, the Full House alum spent more than a decade starring in numerous movies and the Aurora Teagarden film series.)
“My heart wants to tell stories that have more meaning and purpose and depth behind them,” Cameron Bure explained to WSJ. Magazine in November 2022. “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.”
The former Talk cohost claimed that Hallmark became “a completely different network" after former CEO Bill Abbott stepped down. The executive's 2020 departure came amid controversy over the removal of an ad featuring a same-sex couple. Abbott, 60, went on to become the president and CEO of Great American Media.
After being asked about Great American Media's plans to include LGBTQIA+ movies, Cameron Bure replied, “I think that Great American Family will keep traditional marriage at the core."
Abbott, for his part, also addressed his network's plans to create diverse programming. “It’s certainly the year 2022, so we’re aware of the trends," he added at the time. "There’s no whiteboard that says, ‘Yes, this’ or ‘No, we’ll never go here.’”
Following backlash, the Fuller House alum explained that she wasn't looking to make anyone feel excluded.
“All of you who know me, know beyond question that I have great love and affection for all people,” she wrote via Instagram that same month. “It absolutely breaks my heart that anyone would ever think I intentionally would want to offend and hurt anyone. It saddens me that the media is often seeking to divide us, even around a subject as comforting and merry as Christmas movies. But, given the toxic climate in our culture right now, I shouldn’t be surprised. We need Christmas more than ever.”
Cameron Bure's controversy continued to make headlines when Neal Bledsoe announced he was stepping away from the network in support of the LGBTQIA+ community.
“I cannot continue with business as usual. I cannot take comfort from, nor will I give refuge to, those who excuse exclusion and promote division in any way, shape, or form. Everyone is entitled to their beliefs, and these are mine: the recent comments made by leadership at Great American Family are hurtful, wrong, and reflect an ideology that prioritizes judgment over love,” he told Variety in a November 2022 statement. “I was raised as a Christian, and believe in the essential message of love and forgiveness. That said, I could never forgive myself for continuing my relationship with a network that actively chooses to exclude the LGBTQIA+ community.”
Meanwhile, Danica McKellar revealed she wasn't on the same page as her former Great American Family costar.
“Neal is a wonderful person. He’s such a great actor, and I have enjoyed working with him so much. He and I both share our love and support of [the] LGBT community, for sure,” the Wonder Years alum, 47, told Fox News Digital in December 2022. “You know, I don’t agree with his interpretation of her comments. I just didn’t see them the same way.”