The Hallmark Channel Offends Audience Members...But Not For The Reason You Think

Sorcha Szczerbiak

Much like the greeting cards for which it's named, The Hallmark Channel is known for programming filled with heartwarming themes such as friends reuniting after years apart, heroic pets, and romantic encounters that seem just a little bit too good to be true. Perhaps that's why the channel's target demographic enjoys the programming offerings so much. The shows and movies are known for helping viewers escape the rigors of everyday life by restoring a sense of hope.

However, on the other side of the spectrum are viewers who wrinkle their noses at such positive content, asserting it's over the top and has very little substance. Some people are adamantly against watching anything on The Hallmark Channel, believing that to do so would give the impression of being too soft-hearted.

Christians are one demographic that characteristically seems to enjoy the content. Perhaps that's while some people might get a thrill from programming that's peppered with violence, profanity and sexual exploits, all three of those things are noticeably absent from shows that air on The Hallmark Channel. It's easy for people of the Christian faith to rely on the programmer as a source for wholesome shows.

In an effort to satisfy that section of the target audience, channel representatives decided to mute the word "God," so as to avoid taking His name in vain. The censorship occurred during an airing of a 1994 movie called It Could Happen To You.

Before long, negative feedback began flowing, and not because the film was extravagantly inspirational. The decision to take the word "God" out of the audio track was ultimately misinterpreted as evidence that someone at The Hallmark Channel hated the deity and felt that was a good enough reason to remove the name.

As furious comments swirled around social media sites like Facebook, a representative from the media outlet tried to calm things down by explaining the motivations behind the move. Apparently, the programmer has an entire department devoted to making sure content matches what people have come to expect from the brand. When a character in the film used the Lord's name in vain, it was determined that instance was enough to warrant momentarily muting the audio track.

There are even some outraged viewers who plan to boycott The Hallmark Channel once it begins airing Christmas shows later this year. By that time, hopefully this issue will be almost entirely forgotten. This is a classic case of how a network tried to do something to please a large portion of viewers, but ended up feeling the heat in a major way.

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