Hallmark Channel movies and TV shows shouldn’t be called guilty pleasures because they have sweet love stories and happy endings.
Hallmark Channel movies and TV shows should be called guilty pleasures because they predominantly show one type of love story and one type of happy ending.
My pleasure found in Hallmark Channel is guilty.
I am guilty for cozying up to the Hallmark Channel, wearing my homemade Countdown to Christmas sweatshirt, and gushing about their movies on Twitter. I am guilty for creating this blog devoted to singing their praises. I am guilty for gaining connections, friends, and confidence about my writing and art through this blog.
I am guilty because I knew it was wrong that these programs concentrated predominantly on one version of white love, white families, and white communities. I’m guilty for being impressed that in 2018, they had 5 Christmas movies with nonwhite leads. I am guilty because, in 2019, I did not say a word publicly when I was furious they backslid and only had 3 out of 40 Christmas movies with nonwhite leads.
I have Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) and I live in a constant state of unwarranted guilt, but this guilt I have over being silent about Hallmark Channel’s diversity problem is the one that I should agonize over. The one that I should do whatever I can to rectify. The lack of representation across Hallmark’s programming is vast and applies to multiple minority groups, but today, in the wake of the 2020 protests, we must focus on Black lives.
I do not want to “cancel” the Hallmark Channel. I do not want people to hate the Hallmark Channel. That is not the point of this. I want them to do better. This is coming from a place of love. The Hallmark Channel has given me so much–a place to relax, family traditions, the courage to write again–and it is only fair that everyone can benefit in the way that I have.
I see that the Hallmark Channel is trying, but the time has come for obvious action and immediate change. I am not content with their white version of Black people. Hire Black writers, Black directors, Black casting directors, Black actors, etc, etc, etc. Change must happen from the top.
One day, I hope to come back to the Hallmark Channel and see true representation. To come back to the Hallmarkies and not see racist and bigoted arguments in comment sections. To see Hallmarkies more affected and more outraged by injustice than they are by the death of a fictional mountie. I know they have the passion! One can say this kind of protest and outrage is not meant to be in the happy, positive, wonderful world of Hallmark—the place where people come to relax and shut down from the real world around them. But, until this happy, positive, wonderful world can be a happy, positive, and wonderful world for everyone, we do not deserve it.
If you can’t even say Black Lives Matter, how can we trust that you will act? How can we trust that you even believe that they do?
Black love matters.
Black stories matter.
Black representation matters.
Black lives matter.
Links for donations and resources:
- Anti-racism resources for white people bit.ly/ANTIRACISMRESOURCES
- Color Of Change Link to Donate
- Equal Justice Initiative Link to Donate
I will keep adding links! Let me know if there are any you’d like me to add!