Candace Cameron Bure blames media for blowback over ‘traditional marriage’ remark

A woman in a brightly colored dress and straw hat smiles at an outdoor event
Candace Cameron Bure stirred controversy with a comment about her new network keeping “traditional marriage at the core” of its Christmas movies.
(Willy Sanjuan / Invision / Associated Press)

Actor Candace Cameron Bure said Monday that she doesn’t expect her new network to feature LGBTQ story lines in its Christmas movies. By Wednesday afternoon the devout Christian had issued a lengthy statement reacting to the hubbub that ensued.

“I think that Great American Family will keep traditional marriage at the core,” she told the Wall Street Journal earlier this week, referring to the network she will shape as its chief creative officer. That remark, of course, sparked backlash.

Almost immediately after dancer and reality star JoJo Siwa, among others, expressed disappointment about Bure’s comment, GLAAD suggested that advertisers consider boycotting the network.

“It’s irresponsible and hurtful for Candace Cameron Bure to use tradition as a guise for exclusion,” Sarah Kate Ellis, GLAAD’s president and chief executive, said in a statement Tuesday. “I’d love to have a conversation with Bure about my wife, our kids, and our family’s traditions.”


JoJo Siwa, a YouTube and Nickelodeon star, appeared to come out as gay Friday after hinting at the news by singing Lady Gaga’s “Born This Way” on TikTok.

Jan. 22, 2021

Ellis labeled Bure as “out of sync with a growing majority of people of faith, including LGBTQ people of faith, who know that LGBTQ couples and families are deserving of love and visibility” and tagged the chief content officer’s comment as hurtful to LGBTQ employees of GAF and their LGBTQ friends and family.

“If GAF’s plan is to intentionally exclude stories about LGBTQ couples, then actors, advertisers, cable and streaming platforms, and production companies should take note and seriously consider whether they want to be associated with a network that holds exclusion as one of its values,” Ellis said.

Bure responded in part by blaming the media for using her words to promote outrage.

“It absolutely breaks my heart that anyone would ever think I intentionally would want to offend and hurt anyone,” she wrote on Instagram Wednesday afternoon. “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.”

Park the cynicism and let your heart be light: Switch from Fox News and CNN to the Hallmark Channel.

Dec. 25, 2020

Bure said her Christian faith calls on her to love all people “fiercely and indiscriminately.”


“To the members of the media responsible for using this opportunity to fan flames of conflict and hate, I have a simple message: I love you anyway,” she wrote. “To those who hate what I value and who are attacking me online: I love you. To those who have tried to assassinate my character: I love you. To everyone reading this, of any race, creed, sexuality, or political party, including those who have tried to bully me with name-calling, I love you.”

She also tried to add more context to her Wall Street Journal comments.

“I had also expressed in my interview, which was not included, that people of all ethnicities and identities have and will continue to contribute to the network in great ways both in front of and behind the camera, which I encourage and fully support,” Bure continued on social media.

Candace Cameron Bure posted a Bible verse on Instagram after a TikTok from JoJo Siwa that labeled her the ‘rudest celebrity I’ve met.’

July 25, 2022

Siwa wrote Tuesday on Instagram, “honestly, I can’t believe after everything that went down just a few months ago, that she would not only create a movie with intention of excluding LGBTQIA+, but then also talk about it in the press. This is rude and hurtful to a whole community of people.”

In July the dancer, 19, branded the “Full House” actor, 46, the “rudest celebrity” she had ever met. Siwa — who told the world she was gay in January 2021 — said that when she was 11, Bure turned down her request for a photo at the 2016 “Fuller House” premiere party.

Bure allegedly said “not right now” and then proceeded to take pictures with others. Bure said she apologized to the “Dance Moms” alum, not realizing that her offhand comment had such a lasting effect on Siwa.

“One Tree Hill” actor Hilarie Burton Morgan on Monday called Bure a “Bigot” on social media and lashed out at Bill Abbott, chief executive at GAF parent Great American Media, who told WSJ, “It’s certainly the year 2022, so we’re aware of the trends. There’s no whiteboard that says, ‘Yes, this’ or ‘No, we’ll never go here.’”

“I don’t remember Jesus liking hypocrites like Candy,” Morgan tweeted. “But sure. Make your money, honey. You ride that prejudice wave all the way to the bank.”

The once-overlooked genre has become a lucrative cottage industry — and sparked competition for seasonal viewers. Call it the Christmas movie wars.

Nov. 30, 2020

She had previously tweeted, “Now they’re just openly admitting their bigotry. I called this s— out years ago when Abbott was at Hallmark. Glad they dumped him. Being LGBTQ isn’t a ‘trend’. That guy and his network are disgusting. You too Candy. There is nothing untraditional about same-sex couples.”

The Supreme Court made same-sex marriage legal in all 50 states with the Obergefell decision in 2015. After years of airing holiday films with straight, primarily white lead characters, Hallmark aired its first “Countdown to Christmas” movie with gay leads in 2020.

Bure left the Hallmark Channel in April after years of Christmas-related stardom to become chief creative officer at GAF, which the WSJ described as “an upstart cable channel that is positioning itself as the God-and-country alternative for holiday entertainment.”

“My heart wants to tell stories that have more meaning and purpose and depth behind them,” Bure told the newspaper. “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.”

Representatives for Bure did not respond immediately Wednesday to The Times’ request for comment.