"It absolutely breaks my heart that anyone would ever think I intentionally would want to offend and hurt anyone."
Candace Cameron Bure has responded to some of the backlash and criticism she's received after saying Great American Family holiday films will "keep traditional marriage at the core," instead of featuring same-sex couples.
Read her full statement below:
I would like to address my comments on Great American Family's programming as reported in The Wall Street Journal. All of you who know me, know beyond question that I have great love and affection for all people. 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.
I am a devoted Christian. Which means that I believe that every human being bears the image of God. Because of that, I am called to love all people, and I do. If you know me, you know that I am a person who loves fiercely and indiscriminately. My heart yearns to build bridges and bring people one step closer to God, to love others well, and to simply be a reflection of God’s huge love for all of us.
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. 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.
I have long wanted to find a home for more faith-based programming. I am grateful to be an integral part of a young and growing network. 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. I've never been interested in proselytizing through my storytelling, but in celebrating God's greatness in our lives through the stories I tell.
The God we serve is a wildly creative and loving God. He didn't just capture a small part of my heart, He has captured all of my heart. He will be reflected in everything I do and say; in my family, my work and my interactions with people from all walks of life, God's love and God's compassion is front and center. All of that comes from the LOVE that God himself showered upon humanity when he gave the gift of joy and forgiveness on the first Christmas morning 2000 years ago. It is why I love Christmas stories and sharing true joy and true peace with millions of people around the world. And in the sole motivation of pure love, I hope you'll join me in sharing God's hope for all the world this Christmas season. Call that my Christmas wish.
Her comments first sparked outrage after a profile interview with The Wall Street Journal went live on Wednesday. In it, she explained her decision to start doing holiday movies for the new channel, praising the network as being filled with "Christians that love the Lord and wanted to promote faith programming and good family entertainment."
She criticized Hallmark, calling it "a completely different network than when I started because of the change of leadership," before saying same-sex couples likely wouldn't be featured in Great American Family's programming. "I think that Great American Family will keep traditional marriage at the core." It was this last line that garnered the most attention.
Bill Abbott, chief executive of Great American Media -- who used to head Hallmark -- added, "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.'"
"Bigot. I don't remember Jesus liking hypocrites like Candy," wrote Burton. "But sure. Make your money, honey. You ride that prejudice wave all the way to the bank."
"Now they're just openly admitting their bigotry. I called this s--- out years ago when Abbott was at Hallmark," she continued. "Glad they dumped him. Being LGBTQ isn't a 'trend.' That guy and his network are disgustig [sic]. You too Candy. There is nothing untraditional about same-sex couples."
"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," Siwa, 19, captioned a photo of a news article about Bure's comments.
Meanwhile, Bure's "Full House" and "Fuller House" co-star, Jodie Sweetin, expressed her support for Siwa after she slammed Bure. Sweetin, 40, commented on Siwa's Instagram post, writing, "You know I love you ❤️❤️."
Sweetin also voiced her support for the LGBTQIA+ community as a whole, by sharing posts about the Respect of Marriage Act, and a video that featured a man criticizing those who believe Jesus "condemned" homosexuality to her Stories on Tuesday.
Bure's daughter, Natasha Bure, wrote a lengthy message to her Instagram on Tuesday where she praised her mother "for continuously choosing Christ before all."
The 24-year-old called the media "an absolutely VILE space for negativity," applauding her mother "for how you handle yourself with the upmost [sic] grace."
She went on to say that the media "continuously twist[s] the narrative to beat down on the Kingdom," going so far as to refer to the fourth estate as "the enemy" warping words and taking them out of context. "The enemy will not prevail," she wrote.
"Society has gotten completely out of hand with believing every strategically worded headline broadcasted by the media," Natasha added. "Followed by cancel culture which is nothing but ugly. It is so incredibly sad to watch."