Hallmark Channel Has One Holiday of a Diversity Problem


Boy, am I a sucker for a cheesy holiday romance movie.

They’re silly and heartwarming and cute and have as much substance as whipped cream. Yet, they are a holiday tradition for many a romantic here in North America.

And you can always count on Hallmark to churn out a cavalcade of new, 90-minute holiday love stories every November and December.

However, for years, Hallmark has persistently cast the same demographic as the romantic leads for pretty much every single one of these movies.

To the point where it’s so glaringly obvious and starting to become intolerable for many of its viewers who feel as though Team Hallmark thinks only a certain hue of people fall in love. 

And these feelings are spilling over into the digital realm on Facebook, forums, news sites and consumer complaint sites like ComplaintBoard.com (click or tap to enlarge the complaints below):

The irony of it all, Hallmark has the following statement on diversity posted on its corporate website:

We approach diversity from three perspectives: creating products and marketing relevant to a broad range of people; recruiting talent from many backgrounds; and creating a work environment that makes the best use of each individual’s gifts and abilities.

Well, we certainly aren’t seeing much evidence of the first two perspectives this holiday TV season or in years past either.

And seeing how the online complaints about Hallmark Channel’s blatant lack of diversity are getting more pronounced year-after-year-after-year, it would behoove Team Hallmark to wake up and smell the melting pot coffee.

Or for another network to step up and competitively fill a niche that is in high demand—i.e., debuting an ethnically diverse slate of holiday romances in 2016 that star a range of romantic leads who reflect the demography of the North American TV viewing audience.

Key Takeaways:

  • Pay attention to what your consumers are saying about your brand (and your competitors) on online channels like review sites, consumer complaint boards and social media channels.
  • Make a conscientious and concerted effort to ensure your brand marketing, both online and offline, is reflecting the diversity of your audience.