Actress Hilarie Burton has chimed in with her thoughts on the Hallmark Channel’s since-rescinded decision to scrap ads depicting a same-sex wedding, by raising claims of her own. Best known for playing Peyton Sawyer on “One Tree Hill,” Burton has appeared in a number of Hallmark’s original films over the years, including 2012’s “Naughty or Nice” and 2013’s “Christmas on the Bayou.” However, she said she was dismissed from one of the network’s projects last January because she demanded more “diverse casting.”
Burton wrote in a series of tweets, “I had insisted on a LGBTQ character, an interracial couple and diverse casting. I was polite, direct and professional.” She said studio executives took “none of my requests” into consideration, at which point she was told to “take it or leave it.” Hallmark officials did not immediately respond to the comments made by Burton.
The network ignited controversy when it opted not to air a series of commercials for Zola, an online wedding registry and retailer, that showed a lesbian couple kissing at their nuptials. But after the news drew opposition from many celebrities, politicians and LGBTQ advocacy groups, Hallmark apologized and said it had decided to reverse course by airing the ads after all.
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