Neal Bledsoe announced his departure from the Great American Family (GAF) network on Friday following Candace Cameron Bure’s comments about “traditional marriage.”
After the Full House star, 46, praised GAF for focusing on heterosexual couples, the 41-year-old actor expressed his support for the LGBTQIA+ community in an emotional statement.
“My life wouldn’t be where it is without the love, support and guidance of the LGBTQIA+ community,” Bledsoe told Variety.
Cutting ties: Neal Bledsoe announced his departure from the Great American Family (GAF) network on Friday, following Candace Cameron Bure’s comments about ‘traditional marriage’ (seen in 2019)
He continued, “From my mentors in college, to the countless agents and managers, writers and directors, teachers and colleagues, and of course my dear friends and family, all of whom have influenced my life, I owe them a great debt.”
After years of struggling with “society’s extremely narrow definition of masculinity,” the star, who grew up in Seattle, offered the LGBTQIA+ community “a refuge and a guiding light.”
“And now, if I can’t stand up for that community in their time of need, my debt to them means nothing,” Bledsoe explained of his decision to cut ties with GAF.
Controversial: After the Full House star, 46, praised GAF for focusing on heterosexual couples , the 41-year-old actor expressed his support for the LGBTQIA+ community in an emotional statement; seen in 2019
“So I want to be very clear: my support for the LGBTQIA+ community is unconditional – nothing is worth my silence or their ability to live and love freely in a world we are fortunate enough to share with them,” added the Winter Palace please. .
Bure’s controversial statements affected his outlook on the network and has not actively promoted his upcoming movie, Christmas at the Drive-In, with them.
After Bure took over as chief creative officer at GAF, he says he couldn’t do “business as usual” if they didn’t plan to include same-sex relationships in new programming.
Backlash: Bure’s controversial statements affected his view of the network and has not actively promoted his upcoming movie, Christmas at the Drive-In, with them; seen in 2020
“I was raised Christian and believe in the essential message of love and forgiveness,” he concluded. “Having said that, I could never forgive myself for continuing my relationship with a network that actively chooses to exclude the LGBTQIA+ community.”
Bledsoe did not use Bure’s name explicitly when he said discriminatory remarks by leaders are “hurtful and wrong and reflect an ideology that prioritizes judgment over love.”
Last month, Bure responded to criticism that her new television house Great American Family would not feature gay couples in leading roles.
Last month, Bure responded to criticism for saying her new television house Great American Family would not star gay couples; seen in 2019
In a lengthy statement to People, Bure defended herself and the network, saying the backlash from stars like JoJo Siwa and Hilarie Burton “breaks” her heart.
While Bure claimed that people of “all ethnicities and identities” could “contribute to the network” both on screen and behind the camera, she seemed to avoid the issue of Great American Family’s apparent ban on gay protagonists, claiming that the backlash was caused by the “media,” rather than the stars who challenged her earlier statements about the network to the Wall Street Journal.
Bure went on to say that she had “great love and affection for all people” in her statement.
“It absolutely breaks my heart that anyone would ever think I would intentionally want to offend and hurt someone,” she began.
“It absolutely breaks my heart that anyone would ever think I would intentionally want to offend and hurt someone,” she began (pictured in a Hallmark Christmas movie)
But she added: “It saddens me that the media often tries to divide us, even around a subject as comforting and joyful as Christmas movies. But given the toxic climate in our culture right now, I shouldn’t be surprised. We need Christmas more than ever.’
After calling herself a “committed Christian,” she said she was “called to love all men” because they were created in the “image of God.”
“My heart longs to build bridges and bring people one step closer to God, to love others well and to just be a reflection of God’s immense love for all of us,” she added.
Candace Cameron Bure’s statement in response to the Great American Family’s response
In a lengthy statement, Bure responded to criticism of her new network Great American Family after saying it would not star gay couples, unlike the Hallmark Channel.
“Anyone who knows me knows beyond any doubt that I have great love and affection for all people. It absolutely breaks my heart that anyone would ever think I would deliberately want to offend and hurt someone. It saddens me that the media often tries to divide us, even around a subject as comforting and joyful as Christmas movies. But given the toxic climate in our culture right now, I shouldn’t be surprised. We need Christmas more than ever.
“I am a committed Christian. Which means I believe that every human being bears the image of God. That is why 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. My heart longs to build bridges and bring people one step closer to God, to love others well, and just to be a reflection of God’s immense love for all of us.
To those members of the media responsible for taking this opportunity to foment conflict and hatred, I have a simple message: I love you anyway. To those who dislike what I value and attack me online: I love you. To those who have tried to kill my character: I love you. To anyone reading this, of any race, creed, sexuality or political party, including those who have tried to bully me with name calling: I love you.
“I’ve long wanted to find a home for more faith-based programming. I am grateful to be an integral part of a young and growing network. I had also mentioned in my interview, which was not recorded, that people of all ethnicities and identities have contributed and will continue to contribute to the network in amazing ways, both in front of and behind the camera, which I encourage and fully support. I have never been interested in conversion through my stories, but in celebrating God’s greatness in our lives through the stories I tell.
“The God we serve is an immensely creative and loving God. He has not only conquered a small part of my heart, He has conquered my whole heart. He will be reflected in everything I do and say; God’s love and God’s compassion are at the center of my family, my work, and my interactions with people from all walks of life. It all stems from the LOVE that God Himself poured out upon humanity when He bestowed the gift of joy and forgiveness on Christmas morning 2,000 years ago. That’s why I love Christmas stories and sharing true joy and true peace with millions of people around the world.
And in the sole motivation of pure love, I hope you’ll join me in sharing God’s hope for the whole world this Christmas season. Call that my Christmas wish.’