The CEO of Great American Family has made an effort to distance the network from Candace Cameron Bure’s controversial claims regarding LGBTQ+ content, but nonetheless stopped short of a complete rebuttal.
Bure in 2022 left the Hallmark Channel, where she’d appeared in numerous films for more than a decade, to join Great American Family as its chief creative officer. In a November interview with The Wall Street Journal discussing her new position, she said the network’s emphasis on “traditional marriage” meant that viewers shouldn’t expect to see LGBTQ+ storylines in its movies.
The “Full House” star’s comments were swiftly condemned by fellow actors as well as LGBTQ+ advocacy groups. Speaking to Variety in an interview published Wednesday, Great American Family CEO Bill Abbott emphasized that Bure was “not speaking on behalf of” the network in her Wall Street Journal chat.
“In terms of her personal views, it’s like the disclaimer you see at the end of a movie or a series that says, ‘The views reflected here are not necessarily those of the company,’” he said.
But when asked if LGBTQ+ storylines and same-sex relationships would, in fact, be featured on the network, Abbott said that was a “very good and fair question” but nonetheless remained vague.
Great American Family CEO Bill Abbott, left, and Candace Cameron Bure.
“I don’t think when we set out to do any type of movie we cast it first,” he said. “The first thing we think about is a great storyline or great characters or an emotional journey. We’re not seeking to do anything or not do anything, and we take every day as it comes.”
He went on to note: “We don’t have an agenda either way. It’s not in the faith-and-family playbook to have agendas that are either pro or anti. We want to entertain and inspire and be uplifting and consistently provide an experience that is high quality — that is our most important objective.”
Whether Abbott’s attempt to clarify his network’s position on LGBTQ+ content will have a lasting impact remains to be seen. Bure, who has been outspoken about her conservative beliefs, has drawn the ire of the LGBTQ+ community on more than one occasion.
In August, actor Jodie Sweetin ― who co-starred with Bure on “Full House” from 1987 to 1995, as well as the Netflix sequel series “Fuller House” from 2016 to 2020 ― said she was “disappointed” to learn that her new film “Craft Me a Romance” would be broadcast on Great American Family.
“In keeping with my mission of supporting the LGBTQ+ family, any potential or future money made from this sale will be donated to LGBTQ+ organizations,” she told People in a statement.
After her Wall Street Journal comments drew backlash, Bure issued an Instagram statement in which she accused the media of using her words to “fan flames of conflict and hate.”
“I am a devoted Christian,” she wrote at the time. “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.”