Great American Family CEO: Candace Cameron Bure does not speak for us

Bill Abbott became CEO of Great American Family network in 2021, after holding the same position for 11 years at Hallmark. His exit from Hallmark came after he and the network were criticized for a lack of diversity and inclusion (claims Abbott said at the time weren’t “fair”), and a complete bungling on their part over an ad during Holiday Season 2019 that featured a same-sex couple: the ad aired, conservative snowflakes complained about it not being “family friendly,” Abbott pulled the ad, then brought the ad back after getting wider backlash. So Abbott’s takeaway from that experience was to run a new network where he could cater solely to the conservative base. That’s all Candace Cameron Bure had to hear! Last year she joined GAF as Chief Content Officer and declared how thrilled she was that GAF would focus on stories with “traditional marriage at the core.” Now Abbott has done an interview with Variety — wow, the magazines are really having to scrape the bottom of the barrel due to the actors strike — in which he says, “Don’t be silly, our Chief Content Officer doesn’t speak for us!” Prepare yourself for some epic word salading:

Candy doesn’t speak for the network (except she totally does): “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,’” Abbott said. “Candace has such a high profile that when she speaks, she’ll speak on a lot of topics, and she has a wonderful podcast that is fantastic. But when she speaks on that, she’s not speaking on behalf of Great American Media.”

OK, so then what does Abbott have to say for the network? When asked more pointedly if the network planned or wanted to incorporate LGBTQ stories into its programming, Abbott responded with politician-level vagueness. “I think that’s a very good and fair question,” he said. “I don’t think when we set out to do any type of movie we cast it first. 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.”

‘Faith-and-family’ folks don’t have agendas! “This business is so challenged across the entire industry right now — with the streaming model and with the linear decline and all the other pieces — that we’re just looking to celebrate great stories. 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.”

Actually, it’s that they have too much on their agenda: LGBTQ programming will “certainly be something to think about,” Abbott said, but “I think right now, we’re just so focused on profitability, being successful, doing the right thing for our shareholders… We have so many things on our agenda that we need to stay focused on the core part of the business right now and then down the road, as our world grows and changes and becomes different, then we’ll see.”

[From Yahoo! Entertainment]

It’s really not that complicated once he spells it out. Candy is Chief Content Officer for Great American Family, but that doesn’t mean she speaks for the network, she speaks on a podcast and has such a high profile that people listen, but really they have no agenda they just take each day as it comes and are trying to make money and can’t think about adding LGBTQ programming because “streaming” and “linear” and they have too much on their agenda already! Get it?

So Abbott has gone from defensively saying “that’s not fair!” in response to inclusivity questions in 2019, to diplomatically saying “that’s a fair question” in 2023. But make no mistake, the only thing that’s changed is the language he uses with the press. They have no intentions, whatsoever, of developing inclusive content. They just know they can’t explicitly say that. And I don’t know about you, but I got subtly sinister vibes from his last comment about waiting to see how things evolve before considering LGBTQ content. I feel like the subtext is “we won’t have to worry about deflecting these questions soon, we’ll be a fully white, cis, Christian nation in the very near future.” Maybe I’m just still reeling from the new speaker of the House.

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Photos credit: JPI Studios/Avalon, Getty and via Instagram

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17 Responses to “Great American Family CEO: Candace Cameron Bure does not speak for us”

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  1. Lurker 25 says:

    Yeah that subtext is screaming, isn’t it? The US becoming a christo-facist nation has been 40+ years in the making and the Christian nationalists see victory just over the horizon.

    • Doublesteff says:

      Yep. Very Handmaids tale. Ugh. Why can’t people use their brains to think for themselves?

  2. ML says:

    That Yahoo link above contains a link to the original article in Variety. In it Bill Abbott is quoted as saying, “We want to attract as many people who are underserved, and feel like faith and family is important to them.”
    This man is quite clear about where he stands, and that is next to Candace. I sincerely hope that he will constantly have his feet put to the fire on LGBTQ and have to go on record with a transparent quote as opposed to just dog whistling.

    • Spicecake38 says:

      If I’m not mistaken he not only stands beside Candace (CandASS)But also beside Lorie Laughlin-who went to jail for her fraudulent part in the college scamming situation from what 4 years ago??So it’s alright to scam deserving students out of their rights to get into a prestigious college that they work So hard to attend and get one of her dumb daughters in via lying and paying someone to get her accepted.So it’s okay to cheat and scam people but don’t be gay/bi LQBTQ.These type’s are showing themselves more and more. If it wasn’t so disgusting it’d be funny.

  3. Wannabefarmer says:

    Is this the woman who had a very short stint on the view? She looks like that housewife, think its the beverly hills version, husbands name is PK? Anyway, she reminded me of the other woman on the view, elizabeth something. I hear them talk and I just think, geezus, they really do live in some perfect white world xtian bubble, where ‘god’ clearly has favorites and they are it.

  4. Eurydice says:

    Yeah, I don’t buy his weasel words, but I also think, by “we’ll see,” he means “we’ll see if we’re even in business next year.”

  5. Teatimeiscoming says:

    Who is candace cameron bure?

    And yeah dogwhistles galore. This guys a megacreep.

    • Sean says:

      She’s mostly well-known for playing DJ Tanner on the 80s/90s sitcom Full House. Her brother is Kirk Cameron, known for playing Mike Seaver on the 80s/90s sitcom Growing Pains.

      Then, they both “found Jesus” and became religious extremists.

  6. JackieJacks says:

    GAC needed to just market themselves as an exclusively Christian / faith based network and they wouldn’t receive the questions on inclusivity that they have had to dance around. That way there’d be no mistaking who they want as their customers and what kind of content they will be airing.

    • Deering24 says:

      But can they be profitable that way? They have the same problems secular networks have–and it’s arguable that there isn’t enough niche for every niche to make money.

  7. Pinkosaurus says:

    In that header picture both of them are so exceedingly white, they could only be more white if they were wearing sheets. But profit for the shareholders!!1!1!!

    • Roo says:

      Your point about profit is well-taken, Pinkosauraus. Which companies are advertising on this network? And they have faced any public censure?

  8. Slush says:

    At least Candice said how she felt and what she meant. I respect that more than this corporate speak BS. Do I agree with her? Of course not. But at least she’s making it clear where she stands.

  9. Steph says:

    She doesn’t get to call straight marriage “traditional” just because gay marriage was banned for so long.

    • Roo says:

      And whose tradition? The idea of taking multiple wives, to protect women whose husbands were killed in war, was adopted by several cultures thousands of years ago. The idea of a wife for children and male lovers for romance and sex was well-accepted in ancient Greek and Roman times.

  10. bisynaptic says:

    I wonder why he’s trying to distance himself from what she said?