By Vancouver Courier |

When the family-friendly Hallmark Channel recently pulled, under pressure from a conservative group, a set of ads featuring a kiss between two happy brides at the altar, backlash was swift — to say the least.

Within hours, stars like Ellen DeGeneres and William Shatner were tweeting in protest to their many followers, and LGBT advocates were mobilizing a boycott via social media. This was on Saturday; by Sunday evening, Hallmark had reversed its decision, and apologized for what it acknowledged as a mistake.

Whatever it says about corporate missteps, the episode also says something about how our popular culture has changed in a decade, with diversity and inclusion concerns taking centre stage, says Sarah Kate Ellis, president of GLAAD, which advocates for LGBT people in Hollywood and played a key role in Hallmark’s reversal.

“This decade has been about diversity and inclusion — at least the starting of the conversation,” says Ellis. “Communities who have been left out of the seats at the table for decades and decades are finally starting to find their voice, and their footing.” And a major element, obviously, is the power of social media: “It enables us to connect with each other, find each other and organize,” Ellis says.

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