Hallmark is finally stepping out of the box by continuing to tell diversified storylines for this year’s Countdown to Christmas. This year, one of the network’s holiday movies celebrated love by featuring a same-sex couple. The Christmas House premiered on November 22, starring Jonathan Bennett, known for his popular role in Mean Girls and Cake Wars.
The Christmas movie follows Brandon (Bennet) and his husband Jake, played by Brad Harder, who visit Brandon’s parents for the cheery holidays during which the couple is “anxiously awaiting a call about the adoption of their first child.” TV star Robert Buckley, who is known for starring in One Tree Hill, stars as Brandon’s brother Mike who also makes it back home for the holidays and quickly reconnects with his high school sweetheart, Andi, played by Ana Ayora. Yup, this movie definitely screams Hallmark already.
Hallmark’s ‘The Christmas House’
So, to take it a bit further, their parents Bill (treat Williams) and Phylis (Sharon Lawrence) hope that the Mitchell family gets together to “recreate the Christmas house will help them find resolution and make a memorable holiday for the entire family and community.” According to Michelle Vicary, executive vice president, the network’s roots are in movies that are positive and have meaningful connections. She noted, “Our movies are rooted in warmth and positivity, meaningful connections, family gatherings, and seasonal traditions – a winning formula we hope will bring our millions of viewers much-needed levity and holiday cheer at the end of a tough year.”
The news from Hallmark’s announcement of The Christmas House comes after Lifetime’s announcement back in August, where the network shared that for the first time its lineup this holiday season would include films that are centered on LGBTQ romance and a Chinese-American family. The announcement also comes after the Hallmark Channel vowed in July to increase their LGBTQ representation following several criticisms and boycotts that the channel’s upcoming Hallmark movie lineup heavily lacked diversity.
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Through a statement, Hallmark Channel responded, noting, “Diversity and inclusion is a top priority for us and we look forward to making some exciting programming announcements in the coming months, including announcements about projects featuring LGBTQ storylines, characters, and actors. We are committed to creating a Hallmark experience where everyone feels welcome.” Other Hallmark Christmas movies featured this year include A Christmas Tree Grows in Brooklyn, A Bright Merry Christmas, Five Star Christmas, Christmas Waltz, If I Only Had Christmas (featuring our favorite Hallmark actress Candace Cameron Bure), and more!